Yesterday was one of those days that didn’t quite go as planned! Have you ever had a day like that? I had made an appointment with Piper’s G.P. to get her checked out in order to assure that all was fine after the seizures she had last week. Well… we left the house at 1:00 in the afternoon and finally got home around 7:30!
I was also a little concerned with Piper’s right wrist as I had noticed that it was slightly swollen on Friday morning. I was icing it and it was looking better, but thought it best to have the doctor look at it as well… which turned out to be a good idea, but my diligence threw our schedule for the day into the wind!
It was interesting to me to observe her doctor go through all the procedures to find out what the cause of the swelling was. She physically checked over Piper’s wrist and arm, splinted the wrist and then sent us to X-Ray where it was discovered that she had a closed right forearm fracture. (and before you ask how that happened, I’ll tell you that I have NO idea! She has pretty much not been out of my sight through the seizures last week and beyond…) So the doc filled out the necessary paperwork and sent us on our way to the Duke Orthopedic Urgent Care clinic up the road in Durham where they checked the X-Rays and proceeded to put a red cast on Piper’s right forearm.
Now, in referring back to our schedule for the day, I was most concerned that our new puppy was home by himself for over six hours! We had never left him for longer than a couple of hours and I was hoping that our fairly new leather couch would still be intact! But other than pillows tossed around the living room and a few chewed paper napkins… all was well and we had one ecstatic pooch jumping all over us when we came in the kitchen door (and remember he is about 50 lbs now…)!
I thought about that major addition to our schedule yesterday as I read from Ephesians 5:15-17 today. In verses 15 and 16 Paul encourages us to “see that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time…” (KJV) In reading my concordance I discovered that “the English word ‘circumspect’ comes from 2 Latin words ‘looking ahead’ while the Greek word carries the idea of precision and accuracy.* So, you could also translate this verse “See that you walk carefully; with exactness.”*
I find in my day to day life that I have the best chance to achieve that goal when I formulate and follow a plan for almost every endeavor I take upon myself. The last thing that I would do each day when I worked in supervision at Hewlett Packard was to organize my desk and make a “To Do” list for the next day. This way no matter what was awaiting my arrival when I came in, I at least had a plan of action to fall back on once all the emergencies were taken care of.
That habit has followed me into my personal life and is one that I still follow even though I do not leave the house for an outside job any more. In the past I normally worked my secular job while I held my pastoral position in the churches we served. Many times I also had my lawn and garden care business on the side at the same time! Therefore it was of utmost importance to have a list that included everything that I was responsible for (including family needs as well!)
I guess I have been a planner for just about as long as I can remember. While I can be spontaneous and spur of the moment, I honestly prefer to always have some kind of plan before I embark upon something! Throughout our married lives, Piper and I have always had a plan for the things we stepped out to accomplish. I’ve been criticized by a few who thought we have acted irresponsible at times with some of the decisions we’ve made, but in reality the opposite is true as we always did our natural research, prayed and sought the Lord’s wisdom before ever attempting something.
Most times the plans went as scheduled, a few times they didn’t, but we adjusted, trusted the Lord and in the end, everything has always come out in our favor. Before I left my last secular job to care for my wife 24/7, I had resurrected my former lawn and garden care business, lined up new and former customers, written a new business plan, spoken with the owners of the home we were renting and had worked out a work/home schedule that best fit our needs at the time. And sure… things were a little tight at times, but it all worked out fine! Most importantly, we had the leading from Papa God and we put our trust into Him… and followed our plan!
I believe that this is also the way that Papa God wants us to live our Christian walk each day. The Word tells us to live circumspectly, making the most of the time, taking advantage of every opportunity! (See: Ephesians 5:15-17 in the KJV and God’s Word ©) In other words, be wise with your time and the way you use it! Use it for His advantage. Look for opportunities to share the light and love of God with those around you. I am always amazed at how God seemingly ‘sets up’ opportunities for us to talk to others about Him. It happened again yesterday as the technician was putting the cast on Piper’s wrist. The conversation ‘just happened’ to go in such a direction that I could easily share our faith in God for Piper’s healing. I felt the nudge, got the green light and shared what we are believing for and it was received with no fear and lots of expectation and agreement!
Are you a man or women with a plan? I find that I can redeem the time a lot more efficiently when I make and then follow a plan. It also gives me great conclusion and peace at the end of the day when I see all those check off marks on my daily plan list!
Most of us are fairly organized at work, so why not carry on those same characteristics in every other area of our lives… ESPECIALLY in our daily Christian walk? Give it a shot… I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your personal results! Have a great end of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What PLAN am I expecting to follow today?”
*”Be Rich” A Commentary on the book of Ephesians by Warren W. Wiersbe, chapter 10