We spend so much time planning, don’t we?
Writing out our to-do lists. Scheduling.
Planning the weekend…the vacation…the work priorities.
Busy, busy, busy. Work, work, work.
Get it done, check it off, move to the next to-do.
And at the same time – at least a lot of the time – we are bracing for the hurdles and challenges that get in the way and bump us from our happy planning place.
We expect disruptions to our planning to show up at some point.
Very easy for me to do.
I am the master of having a Plan B and a Plan C in place when Plan A falls apart.
And then one line in a book shifted something in my brain this week.
In his introduction to John Ortberg’s book, Soul Keeping (AMAZING book!), Dr. Henry Cloud wrote that he and his colleagues in a psychiatric hospital would “plan goodness for the people they were trying to help.”
I have never considered planning goodness.
But isn’t that a marvelous idea?
Plan for generosity…kindness…good things. (The opposite of planning for worst case scenarios.)
I started thinking about this. When I plan goodness, I am expecting good things to happen. I am creating time for fun and breaks and walks and deep breaths and naps and laughter. All the good things in my life that nurture my soul and ease the tension. This is more than just activities to bullet on a list. This is a mindset and perspective. It shifts my focus from the troubles that could come to all the good that is already there. It’s a new way of seeing what’s going on around me.
It is a way of life.
David writes in Psalm 23:6, Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life…
He was expecting, planning for, goodness.
And this was the guy who had really messed up!
David goes down in history as the greatest of all of Israel’s kings. But that whole thing with Bathsheba is part of his story. (He saw her bathing on the rooftop…he wanted to be with her and started an affair with her…and then committed premeditated murder by having her husband killed in battle.
Yet even with that in his past…he is planning for goodness and love. All the days of his life.
David had experienced forgiveness. Grace. Mercy.
I think he can plan goodness because he believes what he wrote a few verses earlier in that chapter…
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Yes. I want to live like this.
I can plan goodness. And expect it.
Because the Lord is my shepherd. And because I shall not be in want.
What a beautiful way to live.