Past failures not future’s yardstick

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201502-pulpit

 

By Christopher Maina

Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand…

Thank God you can read this for it is proof that you are alive in the Year of the Lord 2015. I feel so excited to be writing this because God, the one we have been talking about and contemplating in this column for all those years, has found us worthy to serve Him even if for just a day in 2015. Aren’t you excited?

Early December 2014, I came across an inscription making rounds in the Internet. It read: “Cheers to all the women who left us saying they’re getting married in 2014. You have three more Saturdays.”

A man, who made no plans to marry last year, certainly must have written this. But what I perceived from the writing is that the author was mocking those who had dared to dream. He was saying, “look, you made grand plans and spoke of big dreams but what have you achieved”.

But the dawn of the New Year is here friends and as usual, it is the time we all make those grand plans for the year. I started making mine in December last year so as to hit the ground running from January. But if you haven’t, don’t curse. The year is still fresh. You see friends, I can’t laugh at a woman who had planned to get married in 2014 but didn’t. I don’t even beat myself because I did not buy the 1/8-acre plot I had planned to buy in 2014. That to me is water under the bridge. And my last year’s failures are not going to be my yardstick for 2015. No! I have new plans and have carried some of the old ones forward. I plan, for failing to plan is planning to fail.

Socrates, the sage of Athens, once quipped, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” That means we must continually examine our lives and make plans. Only then does life get meaning. And the Bible in Luke 14:28 says as much: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

People who do not make concrete plans about what they want to achieve – whether in terms of new habits or new achievements are people who have stagnated in life. They take what life throws their way – they accept even garbage since they don’t know what is good for them. They eat cheap, live cheap and die cheap. For them, the purpose of life is to just show up. But that’s not me brethren. That’s not for the children of Light. No! We know that we did not wake up this morning to be mediocre.

“But what about the plans we had for last year that didn’t go through?” sceptics will ask. Well, I will tell them this: Our lives are in the hands of God. He alone has reasons for everything. He knows why he did not give me the plot I desperately needed. He knows why he allowed the lady who wanted to get married last year get ditched in August, just when she thought everything was going so well for her planned December 12 wedding. He knows why a pupil, who sat her KCPE last year and was expecting to join high school this year, died unexpectedly. He is God. And “many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand,” Proverbs 19: 21.

That does not mean we stop planning and wait for God’s purpose to stand. No! God wants us to plan but also ask Him to do His will because ultimately He knows what tomorrow will be like while we don’t. You don’t want to insist that He makes a certain man marry you while He, being God, knows that man is actually a wolf in a man’s suit. I did not put my money in that plot because God knew it had issues and would have lost my money. But the good thing about our God is that His plans are never to destroy or put us to shame: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for prosperity and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11.

So, don’t believe the sceptics. Don’t even listen to them. Write your New Year resolutions and make sure they are grand. Whatever is impossible to man is possible with God. So, make them. And put everything in writing for regular reference. I will give you a hint of one of my plans cum prayers for 2015. I want to be the biggest giver in my locality and the biggest tither. You see, that’s a prayer in disguise. For me to tithe biggest, I need to earn more than everyone in my church so that my 10 per cent is bigger than everyone else’s. That means I am telling God to give me more and more sources of in come to be able to do give more than others.

Brethren, as I said earlier, the failures of yester year should not clog our minds this year. Think big, plan big and trust God to make this your best year yet.

Published in February 2015

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