POINTS TO PONDER

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Former President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, shared an eyeopening remark. He stated: “I don’t believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.” In other words, you don’t take the time or effort to do what needs to be done, so you leave it up to chance. Well, both Fate and Chance are not good things to depend on for a good, predictable outcome. I like what King Solomon said, don’t wait for things to drop into your lap. It’s every decision God makes for you that counts.

Here’s what psychologist Adrian D. Parker tells us are four things we should never leave to chance. One, our relationship with our Creator. Two, our purpose in being created. Three, our responsibility as a spouse, sibling, or friend. And four, our vision of the first three.

He goes on to tell what happened in a conversation with his wife: She convinced him that he should have a vision for each of these priorities. No different from the strategic visions he authored for brands and clients, a vision for his priorities would provide self-inflected guidelines for deciding how, when and why to spend his time.

Based on that, Parker thought about including the following:

  • Define what we believe and who we serve.
  • What’s important and what’s not.
  • How we budget our time, money and energy.
  • How to argue and how to analyze.
  • Love inputs that yield life outputs.
  • Solidify what true success looks like.
  • Thoughts on the legacy, values & traditions we want to create.

Love is too important to leave to chance, says Parker. It’s certainly not the sexiest conversation but it’s likely the most vital. So I’m going to power down the laptop and the cellphone for the next few days. My to-do list will be waiting for me when I finish talking to my wife about the items above. She’s much too precious and pretty to leave to chance. Hopefully, we’ll walk away with something worth sharing, protecting and celebrating.

If all of this is practical in a person’s life with their spouse, certainly it bids for our attention in our relationship with the Lord. Associate Digital Media Producer in Salt Lake City Ariel Szuch puts things in perspective concerning his life, something we can think about for our own.

What God’s plan isn’t:

I have a lot of “should” voices in my head. They say things like, “I should be married. I should be better at this dating thing by now. I should know what I want to be when I grow up. I should have a 5-year plan and a 401k and a perfect, step-by-step plan of how to get to my dream career—starting yesterday. Because if I don’t, I’m a failure.” God’s voice, unsurprisingly, does not agree.

What God’s plan is:

It’s interesting—with the clearest impressions I’ve ever received, such as the prompting I had to go on a mission, God has always made it just as clear that it is my choice whether or not to obey. He knows the deepest desires of my heart and He wants me to come back to Him, and so as I seek His guidance, He shows me how to achieve those desires. He is always trying to give me what I really, truly want. But it is always, always my choice.

Apparently, the wise man, Job, King Solomon, the prophet Jeremiah, and the believers in Ephesus and Rome were going through the same thing in trying to figure out what to do next. When Job was wondering how he was going to get through all the turmoil and tragedy that visited his life, he looked up to heaven and told God, “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be crossed out.1 And King Solomon found that there are many plans in a person’s mind about their future, but only the purpose that the Lord has for them comes with any guarantee.2

As far as the prophet Jeremiah is concerned, it seems that everything he tried to do for the Lord only ended up being rejected by those to whom he was sent. But then God sent him a message to give those people: Said the Lord Almighty, I know the plans I have for you, plans being blessed and not for being cursed, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.3

And the Apostle Paul knew the Ephesians needed some guidance as they faced persecution and hardships. So he reminded them that we are all part of His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should commit ourselves to do them.4 And to the Romans Paul declared: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.5 So you see, neither Fate or Chance have anything to do with who you are, where you are going, and where you’ll end up when you reach life’s finish line, as long as you stay in His Will, His Word, and His Way. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

1 Job 42:2

2 Proverbs 19:21

3 Jeremiah 29:11

4 Ephesians 2:10

5 Romans 8:28

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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