“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
My Precious Heavenly Father,
I think You should have given us an 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not speculate." Perhaps you have already done so, when Jesus forbade worry.
I am a capable strategic planner. I gravitate toward vision, mission, strategic planning, and implementation. I understand assessment, evaluation, and further planning. I have lived the endless cycle. But the same skills that help me to plan strategically may contribute to fear and worry. Complications, shortfalls, and the possibility of failed strategic plans demand contingencies. Contingencies are often based upon fear.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: "Whatever weaknesses, miscalculations, and guilt there is in what precedes facts, God is in the facts themselves" (Letters and Papers from Prison, p. 103).
All too often, I find myself in the weaknesses, miscalculations, guilt, and fear of failure. I have even attempted to sanctify speculations and fears that You have no desire to sanctify. I have lived in the fear of contingency planning, when You are calling me to live in the day to day reality of what is with a simple faith and trust that You will take care of me.
So, I plan for an unknown future, all the while, recognizing that things will change. I cannot see the future. I only know that You do. You are already there.
Hoag, Rodin, and Willmer (The Choice: The Christ-Centered Pursuit of Kingdom Outcomes) describe a Kingdom ethic of strategic planning. "Prayerful strategic planning is a process of faith that is filled, led, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, where we as ministry leaders seek together to hear God's voice and discern His will regarding the future in a way that enables us to pursue kingdom outcomes with organizational passion (unity of vision) and Christ-like excellence (obediently offering our very best)" (2014, p. 65).
Lord, take me past the futility of speculation that is often based in factless fears. Lead me into the truth of scripture through the leadership of Your Holy Spirit that I may face the future with poise, passion, and a plan that is birthed in Your Father-heart.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,