Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)
Planning is always one of the most important steps in anything we do. Whether it be work related, school related, or in our ministries it is essential. I can't function right unless there's a plan ready for me to follow. Sometimes that's becomes a hindrance when I'm trying to do certain things or start certain projects.
It's always been a problem of mine moving past the plan when working by myself. Often I deter or deviate from the original idea by letting things from within stop me. I let road blocks from the past stand in the way. For instance, it's known to my peers that it takes a lot for me to focus. Some may call it attention deficit disorder. But, I think I allow myself to give in to pressure too easily. Sometimes it causes me anxiety not knowing the outcome of things. Even if I know I can somehow make whatever plan, idea, or method work I still shut myself down by believing the finished product won't be as good as I had hoped.
It took me a week to get started on this post, mainly because I have been wrestling with the fact that I may not post as well as some other bloggers or even my fellow Ghetto Monk contributors. Bumps in the road of life seem to resurface and cause me to shut down and believe that I can't get something done.
Since the start of the new year I've been reading Tony Dungy's 365 devotional The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Devotional. It's a pretty good read and I recommend it for anyone. Each day has a theme to go along with it. There are seven themes, one for each day of the week (Core, Family, Friends, Potential, Mission, Influence & Faith). They reoccur in the same order every week. This book has become what drives some of my days. One particular day, May 31st to be exact, Tony had a passage called Getting in The Race. It focused on being able to jump into something despite trials and hardships we may face along the way. The scripture he used for the day was Romans 5:3-5.
This scripture really hit home with me that day. I was trying to figure out what it is I want to be in life (at 24 I feel like you should have some idea). Its always been hard for me to think ahead. Once I get so far into the planning stage I begin to think of all the ways I could fail. That brings my wheels to a screeching halt every time. Like Ryan quoted in his post The Fear of Failure, we miss 100% of the shots we don't take. We never come close to finishing or enduring, persevering through any of the races, hardships, plans, ministries or dreams that we don't first jump into. Following the thinking/planning phase is so crucial. If we don't take that first step of faith and start the process knowing that God has our path blazed out ahead of us we will never find out who we want to be or what God has called us to be.
God is with us the whole way. Throughout the Bible He reminds us of His plans to keep us and grow us. Our hope comes from trusting in those promises and enduring those hardships that ultimately build our character. Planning is step one, but it's crucial to move on and make the second step of action toward our goal.