So true ……. so true ……
My daughter came home this week with a piece of RTA furniture she wanted me to assemble for our grandson’s bedroom. “What?!” you say, “Blasphemy!! Why is a cabinet-maker buying prefabricated furniture?” Well, the truth is, some things are actually cheaper to buy and assemble than starting from scratch. I can’t buy a sheet of plywood for the price of this whole package, much less cut it out and add hardware. Granted, the construction is not as strong and it won’t survive for 100 years, but it will serve the purpose for now.
This is not new ground for me; I’ve done it dozens of times. I unbox all the stuff, spread it out on the floor and begin to sort through the pieces. Instructions? Ha! Actually, I do use them. I learned the hard way that there are some things that must follow a certain progression. If you put the carcass together out of order, you have to knock it all back apart and start over. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
If you’re careful and follow the steps as directed, everything usually pulls together like the picture on the box. In this case, however, some parts were not fabricated correctly. Several important construction holes weren’t where they were supposed to be as described in the plans. Not to worry! Billy had a drill and he fixed it the Billy way!
So what do you do when something doesn’t go according to your plans? What do you do when the parts don’t fit? You go back to the instructions and you read them again, right? If it still doesn’t make sense, you call a friend and ask for help. If you’re knowledgeable enough about the system, you come up with an alternate plan. If you’re ignorant and bull-headed, you proceed the wrong way and make a mess.
Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)
22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
I can’t recount the number of times that I started a project only to have it fail because I was impatient and rushed into it without developing a feasible plan. Every good result comes from thoughtful planning and controlled execution. Plans fail for various reasons – unrealistic goals, lack of resources, lack of commitment, inflexibility, poor execution, lack of counsel.
Christians are not immune from failure; so what do you do when you fail? You start again. You ask for forgiveness, pray for clarity, study the details more diligently, ask for advice, rededicate yourself to following God’s will ………… you make a new plan or at least fine tune the one you have.
1 Samuel 18:14 (NIV)
14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.
Ultimately, all plans lay in the sovereign hands of God. When your plans fail, consider this: God may see your failure as a complete success. It is frequently in these humble moments when his voice is most clearly heard.
When you raise your mug today, thank God for your mistakes and your failures. Ask him for the wisdom and vision to develop more successful plans.