Actually Planning for Future Events
Were any of you ever in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts? I was—two years. That’s it. Ever play a musical instrument? Me too! Harmonica, Guitar, Trombone, and drums; also piano for a while—however, I never finished learning how to play any of them. When I was younger I had a compulsion to make excuses to not finish things. Now this may not be you, but I know it’s not just me! Lots of us don’t finish what we start. Our ability to finish what we start affects our ability to be purposeful with our own lives.
Make something happen!
Not finishing what we start says something about who we are. For one thing it says we don’t know how to plan for the long haul. Success depends on meeting the goals (both short term and long term) that we set. When we finish those goals we win—when we don’t…well, you get it.
My ability to be prepared for things has gotten better over the years; I’m still growing, but I’ve made leaps and bounds compared to my younger years of losing things, quitting when things (sports, instruments, hobbies) became difficult. Being prepared to succeed begins with planning for future events.
Same thing, every year.
I don’t want to freak you out but did you know that your family members’ birthdays come up every year at the same time? You know what: Christmas, Thanksgiving and your taxes also come up at the same time each year! It’s funny how often we forget stuff like this: we know it’s coming, but we don’t save, don’t pre-shop months in advance, don’t save money for when the expected happens.
Some people do: I have friends who start their holiday shopping Dec. 26th. That’s advanced planning and a great budget saver. Planning for expected future events can save you frustration, time, and money! Think through a calendar year; recall what things come up on an annual basis, both what’s consistent for you and what’s common to all of us. If any of these things require advanced savings or advanced planning…start now! You’ll be glad you did.
When It rains, it pours!
But what about unexpected events? How can we prepare for something that we don’t know is going to happen. Statistics state that many of us are going to have some type of major crisis this year (money, health, career, house, family, etc.). We don’t know what it is, but we do know that something is going to happen. It is going to rain. Putting away money for these rainy days (an emergency fund) will give you a shelter of protection when they come up. Having the money to pay for whatever the crisis is makes things easier on you.
God has set the model for us in being prepared. Nothing surprises him! Psalm 68:10b tells us that: “…thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.” God owns the whole universe! He is really rich, He loves us like crazy, and wants to help us when we are in need; most of us just don’t ask for the kind of help he provides. His Word, The Bible, is full of smart ways to handle money so we can be prepared.
Bring the Umbrellas!
A story is told about a small Irish town that had been going through a drought. The local pastor was concerned for his congregation and so they purposed together to do something about it. They were going to hold a prayer vigil. The Sunday of the vigil the pastor held regular Sunday morning service then sent everyone home reminding them to come back for the evening prayer service. Well, just after supper time the congregation of that small church came back for the simple purpose of praying to God and asking him to end the drought. As the people filed in to their pews the pastor bursts out yelling and shouting and telling them all to go home! When they asked him why he said, “Because you have no faith!” The congregation was shocked. Hadn’t they come to pray? They asked their pastor how they could say they had no faith. “If you have faith,” the pastor announced in a booming voice, “then where are your umbrellas?”
Plan for your purposes to happen: having a plan is great, being prepared for the unplanned is great, but when you set a goal to protect yourself or someone else, or to make something happen you’ve got to have the faith that your plan is protected and that you can carry it out to completion. We must to prepared for the work God will call us to.
Proverbs 24:27: Prepared thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field”