“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing my best friend baptized at New Smyrna Beach. Her mom and I have been praying for the last ten years that she would make the choice to live her life for Jesus. As you can imagine, I was beyond pleased when she called to invite me to attend her baptism.
Twice a year Summit Church offers their congregation the opportunity to participate in beach baptisms. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived at Bethune Park. We parked at one of the local Churches, were picked up by a large bus, and then shuttled to the actual location. There were hundreds of people milling around singing praise songs, enjoying food from 4 Rivers, and chatting with their neighbors lounging on beach chairs. My best friend went to check-in. She was told that about 200 people would be baptized and approximately 800-900 people would be attending.
It was about 4:00 pm when she checked-in. It was explained that the baptisms would begin at around 5:30 pm. Summit was then going to have a Church Service on the beach afterwards for anyone who would like to attend. Since we had awhile before the baptisms began, I decided to ride one of the shuttles back to the Church where my car was parked so that I could get my cooler. My stomach was already growling which meant that by 5:30 pm I would be really hungry.
I hitched a ride on the next bus that was heading to the Church parking lot. I went to my car, retrieved my cooler, and then joined the line of people waiting for the next shuttle to arrive. When the bus arrived I was surprised to see my best friend walking down the steps. She stopped to explain that she had decided to drive her car down to Bethune Park so that we wouldn’t have to wait for a shuttle later on. I agreed that that was a great plan.
She headed to her car. I boarded the bus.
It took me about 10 minutes to realize what we had done. I called her cell phone while shaking my head at our stupidity. At the same time we said, “What were we thinking?” Neither of us could explain why I hadn’t asked to ride with her back to Bethune Park or why she hadn’t asked me.
We soon realized that we had both been completely focused on our own plans. My plan was to board the bus. Her plan was to get her car. Our focus on our own individual plans made us blind to the opportunity for a better plan…riding together.
I wonder how often we miss out on better plans for our lives because we are so focused on our own plans? I think most of us can admit that there has been a time or two when we stubbornly clung to our own plans instead of following the plan that God was offering. Maybe His plan wasn’t happening fast enough…or maybe His plan wasn’t exactly what we we’d been hoping for…or maybe we just wanted to do things our way.
All I know is that those times that I’ve clung to my own plans, ignoring God’s plans, have not resulted in the best of circumstances. I’m in the process of trying to not have tunnel vision when it comes to my own plans. I don’t always know what God’s plans are for my situation, but I do know that I need to stay alert for the time when He reveals His plans. Because when I’m too self-focused I miss out on His better plans for my life!