Planning; February 4, 2021

Ecclesiastes 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.

Talk about practical advice! We tend to calculate everything ahead of time, getting lost in a forest of possibilities, not wanting to “waste time” on things that “won’t succeed.” That’s no way to have real success! Right now the most visible example of that is Elon Musk. He has had numerous failures, but he is currently the richest man in the world, and he looks likely to put human beings on Mars within the decade. He just blew up another rocket, but that is his trademark: learn from your mistakes, but don’t be afraid to make them. That is the attitude Solomon is talking about in this chapter. Verse four talks about the same thing. We are to make active use of the opportunities and resources we are given, even though, or actually, precisely because, we don’t know what the outcome will be. This is precisely the theme of Jesus’ famous parable of the talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) The servant in that parable who was punished was the one who didn’t try, out of a fear of failure. The Bible is remarkably consistent in its message! We are to apply ourselves fully to whatever the Lord shows us to do, and leave the outcome up to Him.

This is extremely timely, because we are at the point of needing to plan for the next fiscal year, which starts April 1st. I have been very poor at planning, but at the Watchnight service December 31st the Lord surprised me by telling me through my own mouth that I’m to work on that this year. I’ve never been big on “special programs” in the church because my experience to this point has been one of a lot of effort for little if any lasting results. However, I need to be more like Elon Musk: not afraid of failures. At the same time, I need to be sure that the believers are on board with whatever plans are formulated. I’ve had my biggest failures in that area! I must not go off “half cocked,” but talk things through with those who should be involved, so at the very least unity will be heightened by what we do. The Lord has given this church a huge vision that is humanly impossible, but He will use human beings to bring it about, so we need to be active in our obedience, not knowing the outcome of any specific activity, just as this verse says.

Father, thank You for this clear, timely Word. Help me indeed follow through. I ask for wisdom and timing in what to say to whom, when. May we indeed be united in attempting great things for You, expecting great things from You, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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