Preparation vs. Planning

My Papaw has built several houses across West Tennessee. He recently began to renovate a small add on for my Grandmomma and Granddaddy. So, my mom’s dad is renovating something for my dad’s parents. Like in any renovation, he’s run into some unexpected problems. When he first laid out the plan for the renovation, he didn’t account for every individual problem that would come his way in the process. That would make him a future teller. In which case he should be buying lottery tickets, not renovating houses.

In life, we can't always plan for problems, but we can always prepare for them. When something happens in our life unexpectedly, your response many times will be dictated by the preparation, or lack thereof, you’ve put in.

When you’re renovating something, you build in some margin in case something happens you didn’t plan. You prepare for the unexpected. You can’t plan when or where something bad will happen, but you can prepare to handle it when it comes up.

You’re not going to always see the wayward kid for years ahead of time, but you can prepare ahead of time. You’re not going to always see marriage problems in the future, but you can prepare before they happen. You may not see that new leadership position heading your way, but you can start leading the few you have now to prepare for the hundreds you're responsible for later.

So, if we can’t always plan out the future, but we can always prepare for the future, how do we prepare the best way? 

Preparation is not a one time thing. You don’t prepare to have a child in a day. You prepare over the course of 9 months to have a child by visiting the doctors, reading books, and going crazy. 

Preparation is a daily, diligent discipline. 

Jesus said to seek his kingdom, and he would take care of the rest. He said he would take care of us just like he takes care of the flowers and birds. So instead of planning for every single step in the future, why not try preparing for the future? Start seeking Jesus in every move you make. Start showing Jesus to your kids now. That prepares them to handle the trials that could cause them to leave God. Start now investing in your marriage. That prepares you now to handle the tough times later. Start listening and reading and applying all the qualities of good leaders where you are now. That prepares you for the leadership role God has for you in the future. 

So, how are you preparing today, for the opportunity that God brings tomorrow?

Preparation isn’t as sexy as planning, but it’s a lot more effective.