Everyone you talk with has plans, or most do anyway. I talked to an out of state friend today and we ended up talking about our plans. We are going to do things, go places, keep appointments, talk with others, visit, phone, text, email, attend or something of the sort at all times.
Being a minister, perhaps I am more to inclined to ask than others, “how important are those plans,” and “do you clearly understand what your plans mean to your life?”
I love the humorous story of a new young minister. He felt he needed to challenge his congregation to plan on doing one big thing for the coming year. As he thought about it, he walked into the auditorium and noticed, as he had often before that it was dark and dreary. The idea came to him that perhaps he could unite the church behind the idea of buying a chandelier to hang in the middle of the meeting hall.
He spent the next several days preparing his sermon. On Sunday morning he spent twenty minutes telling the congregation how great it would be to have a chandelier, He chandeliered this and he chandeliered that and finished his sermon with a big pitch for funds with which to buy a glorious chandelier.
He really felt he had done well, and people were very complementary of his lesson. But after several weeks he still had heard of no action being taken by the leadership. So, he dropped in on one of the elders for a visit and finally broached the subject of the chandelier and whether they were making plans to raise funds for one.
He was rather surprised by the elder’s response: “Oh, we talked about that and decided against it. You see nobody around here knows how to spell that word and even if we got one of them things there’s not a soul within a hundred miles who knows how to play one. Besides that we decided what we needed more, are more lights in the meeting hall!”
Well, that’s the way it is with some of our plans isn’t it. We think that we have thought out all areas of the matter, but when we begin to make plans we find out there were some areas of the problem which we didn’t clearly understand. If there is one point I want to make it is that plans for our churches are important, good and necessary! However, plans for our lives are more important!
What is the chandelier in your life? What is it you really want to do or accomplish? Do you really have a clear understanding of it and is it what you really need to bring light to your life? James gives us an important lesson in life in the matter of making plans when he says, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that, the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.” (James 4:13-15)
If you want more light in your life, you need more of God, not a chandelier!
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.