Sunday, April 25

The Idolatry Of Planning

I am a planner. Obsessively so. Anyone who knows me can attest to this fact. I keep a day planner, an itemized budget, a weekly menu and grocery list, and have a "running ticker" of to-do items in my head at all times.

Being able to plan out my life is calming to me. It allows me to see the people I love and complete my other commitments and responsibilities. It gives me peace to mark items off a list.

It is a control issue for me.

Because planning is my way of trying to fight anxiety and take control of a life I often feel overwhelmed or confused by. It can very often be an idol. A revelation God is slowly making plain to me. Yesterday, He used this devotion from Jesus Calling to prick my heart:

"I am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid. Your fear often manifests itself in excessive planning. Your mind is so accustomed to this pattern of thinking that you are only now becoming aware of how pervasive it is and how much it hinders your intimacy with Me. Repent of this tendency and resist it, whenever you realize you are wandering down this well-worn path. Return to My Presence, which always awaits you in the present moment. I accept you back with no condemnation."*

When I read this passage, I felt like God was speaking directly to me because my fear does manifests itself in pulling out the day planner, making a list of people to call, grabbing control where I can. And it does hinder my intimacy with Him. For in those moments that come too often, I am not running to Him.

May I choose today to still myself and remember who God is instead of running to my pen, my phone, or my calendar. I pray the same for you. For when we do this, He will remind us of His truth in Psalm 46:10-11: "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress."

*Young, Sarah. Jesus Calling. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. p.119.


Mischia said...

It was Jesus had Sarah write that just for you. How He loves you!

Lynn said...

Charity -
Oh my. You've nailed me to the floor with this post!
I've been reading through your blog and finally had to make myself stop so I can get some work done!
I am so looking forward to meeting you at Blue Ridge in just 9 days! And of course you can link to my blog - I would be honored!
Are you on FB? I'm on there as Lynn Huggins Blackburn.
By the way - I LOVE the name of your blog. Our pastor's did a series of sermons from Galatians and they called it Relentless Grace. I love the way God pursues m, even though I am so "prone to wander" (one of my FAVORITE hymns).
Sorry for the randomness of this comment!
I'm praying for you as you prepare for whatever God has in store!