You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired by and filled with  Truth, encouragement and passion on Sundays … and somewhere during the the day, after the music fades and our cars leave the parking lot, pieces of the message tend to fade, too; somewhere along the way, we often lose that Sunday feeling. 

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} is our attempt to carry the Sunday message into Monday mornings by walking together and sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Each Monday, a voice from the pews will give personal perspective to the words we soaked in on Sunday. 

So follow along each Monday as we seek to integrate that Truth into our daily lives; leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

The Monday After: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012: Getting onto God’s Agenda in the New Year

By Ted Brooks

I feel like I should title my blog post “1,001 Ways My Wife And I Are Totally Different But Still Love Each Other”.

When Pastor Brian Bicket began his message Sunday, he asked if we were “planners”.

Both Gretchen and I raised our hands, and that was when the fight broke out.  Gretchen is a “doer” and I am a “thinker” and this leads to very different ideas of what it means to be a “planner”.  For her, planning means that she knows what is happening every minute of the day today and has a pretty good idea about the rest of the week.  It is a source of great frustration for her that I don’t always pay much attention to the immediate future (and I’m just guessing that a few other wives share this frustration).  I have a rough idea of what has to get done today, but tomorrow is pretty fuzzy and a week from now is a complete blank. Recently we went to a shared calendar on our smart phones and that has slightly decreased my wife’s desire to commit homicide, but it is not a perfect solution (mostly because I forget to put events in the calendar).

Being a planner for me means looking ahead at least a year, and often more like 5-10 years out. I am conceptual thinker.  I love exploring new ideas and figuring out how something could work.  Whether or not it actually happens exactly that way isn’t really important to me.  I think planning is about having a long-range vision and making constant adjustments as new contingencies come up.

Gretchen is a linear thinker. For her adjustments mean you either screwed up in the planning or the execution.  I love the challenge that change (good or bad) brings.  She hates it.  Once she sets her plan in place she will knock down mountains to make it happen.  The reality is that we are both right and need each other; as long as we can appreciate each other’s skills, we make a good team.

This left me wondering what kind of a planner God is.  On one hand, He is clearly a conceptual thinker who is able to visualize an entire universe, and at the same time He is able to work at a level of incredibly minute detail so that every cell in our body has a purpose in harmony with every other cell.  He is able to see infinitely far into the future, but He cares for our immediate needs.  I marvel at His planning that laid out the plan of salvation from the first sin in the Garden of Eden. Gretchen appreciates that He doesn’t mess around and created the entire universe in six days.

Many of us are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, “’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.’” However, Brian gave us a great new perspective Sunday when he gave us the background of this verse.  God’s plan wasn’t going to happen tomorrow, or even two years from now as the false prophet, Shemaiah had predicted, but would happen in 70 years.  While that was very discouraging to the Jews, it encourages me that God does plan far into the future and this verse applies to me today just as much as it did to the Jews in Jeremiah’s day.

I also appreciated Brian’s point that if God isn’t in it, it isn’t going to happen.  We all have our ideas of how the universe should be run and often wonder why God does things the way He does. Consciously or unconsciously we are always trying to make things happen that are not a part of God’s plan and are frustrated when our plans don’t succeed. It would be so much easier if we just sought out God and made sure our plans aligned to His plans.

Of course this is easier said than done. God rarely lays out his plans for us. Both Gretchen and I wish we could get Him to join our shared calendar and that we could just open up our phone app and it would tell us what we’re supposed to do today.

Unfortunately I don’t think our coverage area extends that far so, like the Jews in Jeremiah’s day, we are simply going to have to rely on prayer and the belief that if, as Jeremiah 29:12 tells us, we call on Him He will listen to us and does have a plan for us and that we do have hope and a future.

It may not come as quickly as we want it to, or happen the way that we expect it to, but we can take comfort that God is the ultimate planner and that His plans and his timing is perfect for us.

Ted Brooks is husband to Gretchen and dad to some wonderful kids. He works as a tech director for a local school district.

2 thoughts on “The Monday After: Getting onto God’s Agenda in the New Year {Ted}

  1. Wonderful comments Ted. I was laughing at your comments, because I’m considered a type “A” person who dots every “i” and crosses every “t”….plus its hard for me to delegate. Thanks again for your blog.

  2. Ted,

    I too wish I could just click on my calendar app and see what it is that God wants me to do today. That said, I DO know that God wants me to meet with him in prayer and in scripture and for me, to do that consistently, I need to actually have that on my calendar. The other stuff he wants for the day I guess he’s just chosen to let me know during those times in scripture and in prayer. Thanks for the great post.

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