Dr. Ron Reflects: The Best Laid Plans of Men

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“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow……Instead you ought to say If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” – James 4:1-15

John Steinbeck in his novel, Of Mice and Men, coined the phrase, “The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.” There is much truth in that expression.

A lot of time and thought will be given over the next few days about what lies in store for us in 2017 and beyond. There will be many choices made, many of which will be both beneficial and detrimental. We will talk about what we plan to do in the days ahead. Having spent thirty years dealing with community plans, I enjoyed thinking about what the future might look like. But, I have found that my plans seldom come to fruition.

Some of the advantages of planning (looking ahead) include the idea that we can better prepare for tomorrow by anticipating some possible scenarios. In doing so, we are not as likely to be caught off-guard and to be unpleasantly surprised. By looking forward, we should be able to make better use of our resources. In a plan we have something to aim for and to accomplish. But in all of this, we must remember that we are not in control, that God has the Master Plan and knows the outcome of our proposals for future directions.

We are not even sure that we will be here for the duration of 2017. Life is very tenuous. The Bible says it is like a vapor. The Book of Ecclesiastes has a lot to say about what to do with our time. There is a time or season for everything. The world says “live it up, you only go around once.” It’s true that we only make this present journey one time, but there is much more to come. We will depart this place after our short visit, and find ourselves faced with eternity.

Maybe we should spend some time at the end of each day giving thanks to God for the blessings He has provided. Maybe we could ask Him what He wants us to do for Him this year. I’m sure He has some specific recommendations in mind that will make this coming year one to be remembered. There is great potential each day for those who are willing to trust in God for their direction.

About Ron Marionneaux, PhD 27 Articles
Dr. Marionneaux is the author of our "Dr. Ron Reflects" column. He is a long-time college professor and church elder whose hard fought experience and insight are an invaluable asset for understanding the world in which we live.