Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. Proverbs 24:3-4
A few weeks ago, I went to Houston to visit with my dear friend and sister @earthenvessel. I had looked forward to that trip as we had a few things planned ahead, one of which was a Sunday visit to Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The Saturday before, @earthenvessel said to me that she had previously attended a service at Lakewood. She didn’t drive, but accompanied a friend who drove. And so for our Sunday trip, she initiated what she called ‘Journey Management’. She checked online for the route confirmation and planned the journey from her house to Lakewood, taking note of roadmarks along the way and making her own guide. She was really sleepy and struggled with this map of hers as though it was the only way to make it there.
Owing to the fact that it was her first time of driving to Lakewood, we also left quite early, to give us time. So there she was in the driver’s seat whilst I was on the passenger’s seat holding this our special map. We had the GPS navigation system on but she had said we were going to ignore it on this journey and I agreed. We commenced our journey from her house to Lakewood, checking for all the landmarks and we got there successfully, and in good time. I have since adapted this experience and learned not a few lessons from which I would love to share.
1. Know yourself.
My friend was quite self-aware. She was very clear on the fact that, we needed help to make that trip. She did not assume and that knowledge prompted her to embark on the journey management project in the first place. Acknowledging my limitations and strengths is important for life’s journey. It puts me in good stead to plan, take on challenges and recognize and ask for help when needed.
2. Own your journey.
She had been to Lakewood before, yes, even though she wasn’t the one that drove; she could have assumed that sitting in the passenger’s seat meant that she had enough experience to go ahead without additional help. No she didn’t. That you have heard Mr. A or Mrs. B’s story or that you were privy to another man’s struggles doesn’t qualify you for yours or exempt you from the need to prepare
3. Identifying your roadmarks helps others support you.
I wasn’t driving, but because she had drawn the map, we were able to identify the key roadmarks we needed to look out for. I thus was able to identify them whilst she concentrated on driving. The fact that she had taken time out to plan enabled me act in a support role. I was able to cheer her when we crossed each of them and finally arrived at our destination. Knowing where you are headed and the milestones on the way enables others encourage you or just support you as you journey.
4. Sometimes you need to ignore the GPS.
As we headed out, we ignored the GPS several times and stuck to our plan. Somewhere along the way, we eventually were aligned. We consciously ignored all the prompts, and every time we ignored it, the GPS recalculated and offered yet another suggestion. Every day, there are books and seminars and everyone offering us principles, like GPS suggestions. Everyone has their own story for instance and based on all the stories we have heard, we sometimes expect same for ourselves. We must be able to strip the stories of the principles, and hold on to the principles, realizing that we all have our individual circumstances that may require a bespoke plan for our journey.
5. Even if the GPS is your perfect roadmap, missing it is not the end!
Every time we ignored the GPS, the destination did not change; it simply recalculated and gave us new instructions. If we quickly adjusted and accepted the new instructions, we would have begun a fresh journey to the same destination. Oftentimes, we mourn our mistakes so much that we keep missing those instructions and driving further and further away from our destination. When God is our GPS, we are blessed. Should we miss it, He forgives us and offers us a new set of instructions. The devil it is that makes us wallow in guilt and the past, for his own agenda, so that we can continue walking in disobedience and missing further instructions.
6. You must really want it.
We had been out all of Saturday and were tired. There was good reason to give up on making our own plan and leaving the house really early. But @earthenvessel stuck to it, groggy eyed and all. There will always be valid reasons that militate against proper journey management, chief of which will be laziness and procrastination. You will probably opt for the common path (GPS) style and never identify your individual journey. But if you really want something, you’ll find the impetus to go for it.
Our journey was most successful as we arrived way before the service, got great seats in front and sat through the SoundCheck which turned out to be a special worship service ahead of the service. It was all worth the trouble and driving back home was just a breeze. I hope you learned as much as I did from this experience. Life is a journey, it’s advisable to consider ‘JOURNEY MANAGEMENT’.
Thank you so much @earthenvessel
Image Credits: Google Images