Friday, January 23, 2009

Planning for Peace of Mind

After speaking with my spiritual mentor, I had an extraordinary, yes, spiritual, peace come over me. It was an anointing of peace that certainly came over me.

What he said was that he no longer read the Word for what to do but to Fellowship with the Lord.

I asked if he believed that this was for all Christians at any stage of their faith; or, like most world religions (including Christianity) teach, if this was the “sage” phase of his life. He stated that every Christian at every age should walk in the peace of fellowship.

He contended further that most human suffering came from their planning and the expectations that came from planning and goal setting.

Most fear of provision in America comes when a person's source of income (the place they PLANNED on receiving income) stops suddenly. The anxiety of losing jobs, relationships that shift, having to move, dealing with a broken washer, missing the train or any other thing is intense. However, as my mentor believes, these things would not necessarily stop yet the anxiety would not exist if we didn't have our emotions staked on the plans we made around those things.

Right away I compare this to what my partner and I are building with I compare the way I feel about goal setting. I think about how this mentor and his wife used to tell me that I lacked direction.

I picture myself at 50 and wonder if I will look back at this period of my life and say to myself, 'I always felt that I had to build provisions. I had to build the ministry to Haiti. I had to build the music school. I had to find a better job.'

Though I do not feel that this is true, I DO sense a great amount of relief just thinking about that mentality. I feel that an elephant has stepped off of my chest.

Instead of taking that feeling as ammunition to point to goal setting and declare it 'Bad,' I will do something else. I will take that feeling and see if I cannot have that perspective while still carrying plans.

This discussion has given me added perspective on my previous entry about the warrior and the cherry blossom.

One can have goals as a means of direction but to wake every day and give them away.

To look at building the organization to Haiti and say, 'I do not have to do this. It is a good thing, but God does not require this of me. It was initiated by Him. It will be sustained by Him. Should it continue it will be unfolded by Him. AND, should it fail, it would have been stopped by Him. I simply wake, make the plans necessary, and walk it out.'

I could say the same for any of the businesses or ventures I am working on. 'I do not have to build these things. God brought them into my life. I am to be responsible and diligent with them. But they are God's. So, I make the proper plans. I follow through with the plans. When those plans are stopped I adjust. But when God says to go, I will leave them.'

They do not own me.
I am not defined by them.
They were simply the assignment placed before me.

This alleviates so much weight and pressure that I cannot describe it.

So, I find that God is working some things out in me about goal setting and God:

A) God IS the goal. (He is my exceeding great reward.) His fellowship is what I seek. Sailing through this life faithful to a loving relationship with Him wherever, whenever, and however I can. Come, what may.

B) Goal setting is not good OR bad. Goal setting is simply direction. (Like the quote, 'a plan is what you do until you find a better plan.') It does not own me. It does not define me.


Suzanne Artley said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts and do concur. This is something I struggle with also. It is so that I am a visionary, not by my choosing, but by the divine design that God gives us all. But with so much vision, creative ideas, innovation, and thoughts for positive growth; sometimes it seems to be overwhelming. Which do I start with and where do I put my time and attention. If God has placed something on my heart I do not want to mess it up or the people that could be affected. The truth of the matter is, that I can not mess up God's plan. It will be done. My first priority is to Love God with all my heart mind and soul. If I do this he will bring the people and connections I need to do his will. Like you said, its God's idea in the first place and he alone will sustain it. No need to burn ourselves out, just be obedient to worship and love God will all our hearts and the rest will fall into place. Granted I have to admit this is so much easier to say than do because my flesh wants to be in control and always be moving. God desires our attention and wants us to rest. I am here in Jerusalem right now and God is pouring his spirit out, all we have to do is ask and God will provide for our every need. If I don't need it, then I don't want it. I simply want to love you Lord. I am not bound by tasks or goals, but trust in your majesty to fulfill the work you prepared in advance for me to do as I serve you.

C.J. said...

Hey, man. I would have to say that I just recently came to the conclusion that the Word of God is for fellowship with God as much as teaching about everything else (I made a note on facebook and I posted a blog on blogspot).

But, yeah...I never really thought about how much strife planning and having plans actually cause when those plans fail. I think it's hard to separate your plans from the emotions that usually seem to get invested in seeing those plans succeed.

But, if each of us is able to separate the plan and the emotion, then life would (and can) be so much simpler.

I honestly am too tired to give a concrete response to this, but in short, I see the applicability of this concept. Good stuff.