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Hello my name is John… and I’m a plan-aholic. I’m addicted to routine. The weekly checklist is my friend. Each day of the week, my tasks are laid out. It feels great to draw a line through an item when it’s complete. A good day to me is crossing everything off the to-do list. But on days when those plans get sidetracked… or delayed… my plan-aholism kicks in. I feel discombobulated. And thoughts like “This was a wasted day” intrude on my happiness.

Who doesn’t love having an incredibly productive day? You’re making progress, getting important things checked off the list. Many of us love the feeling of accomplishment.  A day of knocking out to-dos is a great day.

But I wonder… when a day blows up… when it doesn’t go according to the plan… could it be possible it’s not a wasted day? Maybe a different plan is being executed. Perhaps God is trying to accomplish something on the inside of us. Items more important than the tasks on our list. Things like patience, trust, resiliency, etc. Is it possible He wants to use a blown-up day to develop character in us? Could God be shaping us on those days where our plans go awry?

It helps to remember “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” (Psalm 37:23). Even when our plans get torpedoed by emergencies, unexpected phone calls, or other curveballs life throws at us… God can leverage blown-up days if we cooperate with Him. A simple prayer, “Lord what are You trying to teach me here?” can be the door to a healthier perspective.

Do you ever have days that go sideways? (I think I know the answer.) You had a great plan, and then whammo? How did you handle it?  What did you learn from it? Take a minute and share your thoughts with me.

God wants us to be productive. But He’s also wants a graceful response when our plans get altered.

John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

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  • Virginia Fette says:

    My name is Virginia and this blog described me to a T. I am a first-born, type A personality who has been described as and thinks of herself as an over-achiever. People thought I could never be happy when I retired because I would not have a long enough list of accomplishments.
    But as a retiree, I have more time to spend with God, and He is slowly teaching me to let the Holy Spirit guide me in how to spend my time. I still have my lists, but if something does not get done, there is always tomorrow. Then I take the time to talk with God about the good things that took place that day. Usually, those things involve strengthening relationships with others.
    Thank you for this great blog, John.

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