“Be prepared,” the Boy Scout motto says. “Leave nothing to chance.”

“Failure to be ready is being ready to fail” is another thing we hear or tell ourselves in order to plan our futures.

I am one who likes to prepare and likes to be prepared for any and all situations, real or imagined.

God has graciously taught me how very impossible, how very improbable and how utterly exhausting and life-draining this is.

While preparation is imperative we can easily slip from preparation to rigidity about expectations and outcomes. We can be frozen and not know how to live without a plan laid out for miles or years ahead.

Please do not hear that I am opposed to goal setting or vision casting. Scripture tells us that without a vision, without hope, people perish.

The understanding I have come to embrace is that while I would greatly prefer to have my entire existence lit up on both sides, front and back, by God’s enormous floodlight — one that reveals everything and leaves not even a shadow for anyone or anything to hide or lurk behind — what God does faithfully provide is a flashlight — and not always a large or bright one. A flashlight that illuminates one next step, one at a time.

And only as we take that step does his light reveal the next safe step along a lifetime journey with the one who knows us best and loves us most.

I am also learning that if that path is lit a little further out in front to step out and move with gusto toward and into that place, confident there will be redirection as needed, that obstacles and their solutions will be revealed in a timely fashion.

As we enter these busy months of the holidays it will be important to relax into God’s plan of one day at a time, one step at a time, one adventure at a time. May we fully embrace our current place, not looking back in longing for days gone by, nor anxious about future days, weeks, months or years — time over which we have no control anyway.

Let us rejoice and be glad in this day, this breath, this step!

Contract Publishing

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