Don’t Plan. Prepare. Whose Mission Is It?

What if someone wrote a blog post and suddenly a discussion broke out?

That happened yesterday over at 300wordsaday in  a reflection titled Don’t Plan. Prepare Jon’s thoughts and his readers’ comments prompted me to examine my New Year’s notions about resolutions and goals. I’ve felt an anxious discomfort, and Jon’s article helped me understand why.

I imagine we’ve all been involved with an organization or two that’s constructed an elaborate vision/mission statement. Mostly they’re forgotten and ignored. The only beneficiaries are the consultants who get paid to direct a frustrating exercise in futility.

So what’s the lesson? Are we better off simply moving forward with no sense at all of what we wish to accomplish? Are we supposed to just do stuff and trust that somehow it’ll all work out?

We’ve all heard the adage If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. But what’s the alternative? I think Jon’s correct—the alternative is preparation.

Jon lists some great aspects to preparation:

  • Decide to want to learn.
  • Develop skills.
  • Remove obstacles.
  • Learn to wait.

I’d add one more:


Preparing implies that you’re preparing for something to happen. All that training and learning and waiting has to lead to readiness. There’s not much point in being all primed and set at the starting line if you ignore the starter.

And there’s the lurking question: Who’s the starter? Who decides when it’s time to go? And, most importantly, who chooses the correct race?

Call them whatever you wish—goals, dreams, resolutions, themes—they have to lead me toward Christ. I can’t follow Him if I’m busy chasing my own self-centered agenda. That’s why those artificially-crafted mission statements fade into oblivion.

Whatever I’m doing–even if I’m diligently and faithfully preparing–I must be willing to allow Him to interrupt. It’s one of the lessons I learned from Rich’s Ride:

Great preparation is the key to flexibility.

I have to seek to know Jesus and listen for His voice. And when I hear it, I have to be prepared and willing to obey.

And until then, I prepare and wait and listen.

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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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