I have a confession to make. I am really really bad at moderation! I am an all-or-nothing kind of guy. I jump in all the way with whatever I do. Usually this is a good thing, but sometimes it ends up biting me in the butt.
For example, I recently got back into daily working out and weight lifting after taking a break during our Mantour Conference season. Now a normal person would start with a light easy workout as they slowly get back into it. Well, few people ever accuse me of being normal.
I did a full-on workout the first day without even stretching or prepping myself. As I exercised, I thought, “This is great, I still got it, rock on.”
When I finished the session, I went on with the rest of the day. However, as the day went on, “Rock On” turned into feeling like someone dropped a rock on me! I hurt…EVERYWHERE!!
I was a moron who showed no moderation. I forgot that before someone exercises their body or works out, they always take a second or two to stretch. They realize that they need to be loose, limber, and flexible. I forgot that if you exercise without stretching, you can increase your risk of tearing a muscle or injuring yourself. Basically, the more flexible your muscles are, the least likely you are to damage your body.
As men striving to exercise in our spiritual life and become strong godly men, we need to learn this lesson and apply it to our lives. God’s man needs to exercise flexibility in his life. We live in an age of schedules and calendars. We try and account for every part of our day to get the most out of each 24 hour time cycle. While there is nothing wrong with managing your time, it is important that a godly man be flexible with his time and allow God to lead and guide his life. This is a lesson I was reminded of not too long ago.
It was a rainy Monday morning when I got out of bed. I did my usual morning routine, prayer, breakfast, etc. Then I sat down and made one of my infamous lists. I am definitely a list guy. Nothing excites me more than finishing a job and being able to take a pen and scribble the item off of my list….sick, right?
Anyway, I made a doosy of a list. Once again moderation flew out the window! It was going to take me the better part of my 24 hours that day to get everything done that I planned. I fired up my pc and dove into the first task, printing some documents.
As the printer hummed away, I dove into task 2, paying some bills. As I sat going through some papers, I heard a pop. Then another. Then a sizzling sound. My computer turned itself off. I began looking to see where the popping was coming from. As I did, the computer restarted itself. As it began to reboot, blue and white fire and sparks started flying out of the back and sides of the pc as the popping sound started again. Smoke poured out as a disgusting smell filled the room.
I reached down and pushed the power button to turn the pc off. However, somewhere between my mind saying turn it off and my hand reaching the button, the pc shut off again. But my hand was already hitting the power button, and I turned it on again.
Pop! Pop!, smoke, sparks, and the horrible smell erupted again. This time, it blew the fuse in the electrical box and the entire room went dark.
I was stunned! This was a relatively new PC. It isn’t used that much because I live and breathe on my laptop. But here it was blowing up in my face. I grabbed the phone and called the guy who had built the pc for me to see what in the world was happening and if the entire pc was dead.
I was told that the power supply for my pc was fried, and odds were it had fried the motherboard and the rest of the PC. I felt like someone hit me in the gut. All of the website info, the images, the archives, everything having to do with this ministry, were on that pc, and it had been awhile since I had done a backup. Then the added pressure of where to find the money to replace this vital piece of equipment hit me.
The repairman said he was having a slow day, so if I brought it in today, he’d look at it and see what needed replaced. Now, for most of you reading this, a trip to a pc store is no big deal, a 5 minute trip. However, I live in the middle of nowhere, and anywhere I go is a 30-60 minute drive. The PC shop was an hour away! There went my list for the day!
I packed up the pc and hopped in my car. The man looked at the PC and thankfully it was just the power supply that needed fixed, a relatively cheap and easy repair. The hard drive was fine, and we didn’t lose any of the ministry information.
Since my day had been shot and my list was not going to get done, I did what any hyper-planner would do; I made a new list of what I could accomplish now that I was in the city for the day. I may as well run errands and get some other things done. My sister, Adessa, had some stuff she wanted to do too. Some of it was work at our church, and since we were now only 5 minutes away, we decided to go do it.
At the church, we had to do some massive printing. I set the printer to print at a fast speed, after all, I had plans to get to. Then I started talking and didn’t realize that halfway through the printer ran out of ink. So I had to take time for the ink to be changed, and then I had to reprint it again. We left the church 20 minutes behind schedule #2.
The next stop was to my chiropractor. My back had been killing me for days, but I never made time to go get it looked at. I was in the area now, so I made an appointment and started driving to his office. Then it happened, the one thing I hate more than anything in life. Traffic!
The expressway was creeping along at 5 mph. I flipped on the radio for a traffic report and learned that a vehicle was on fire. So I started mapping out a new route. If I could just get to the next exit, I’d put my new plan into action.
Eventually, I was able to exit. However, another plan was shot to heck. I needed to head south, but the ramp only allowed you to go north. Every plan I made that day went wrong!
Eventually, I got to the doctor’s office. I had missed my appointment, so I had to wait for him to have a free minute. More waiting! My list sat at home untouched, my back up list wasn’t going too well, and here I was just sitting.
The doctor eventually saw me and was able to help my back. As I hopped in the car and began the hour long trek home, I turned on the radio and was greeted with a traffic report that a tractor trailer had flipped and was blocking the road I needed to take to get home. Traffic was at a standstill; avoid the area at all costs. You have got to be kidding me!
The only other way home was miles out of my way and 20 minutes longer, a road that went through the hills and over a treacherous mountain. But I had no choice.
As I drove along, I couldn’t help but think about how all the plans I had made went up in flames. God definitely had different plans for the day than I had. As I thought about this, I remembered a verse from Proverbs19:2. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
God had other plans for the day. I had my plans. I knew what I wanted to get accomplished, and I had not really asked Him what He wanted me to do. The funny thing is that when I prayed earlier, I asked God to take control of my day and lead me and guide me along the path He had for me. However, I didn’t really expect Him to take me up on it!
That day I had a refresher course on flexibility. God reminded me that a man of God allows God to lead and guide His days. He makes plans, but realizes they are tentative plans based on what God has planned for him to do. I needed a reminder of this. Now I am passing this reminder on to you.
We all need flexibility in our lives. If we are going to live surrendered lives to God, we have to be willing to do what He wants, go where He sends, and act like He wants us to act. He is in charge; we are His servant. There is nothing wrong with scheduling our days or making plans. But a godly man plans in pencil, not with ink. Pencil can be erased and changed, ink cannot. So I encourage you to start living your life as a flexible man willing to allow God to change your schedule.
Why? Because if we are too rigid with our plans, we may miss opportunities throughout the day to serve and minister to others. God may want you to stop and talk with someone instead of rushing off to accomplish your next task. He may want to use you to bless someone else who is having a bad day. I would hate to think that a soul goes unsaved or a life goes untouched because it didn’t fit into the plans I had made for the day. Flexibility is vital for a man of God.
I hope you take this article seriously. Daily give control of your day to God. Allow Him to lead and guide you. If He changes your plans, roll with it. Look for what He wants to accomplish through the change of plans. It could be to help someone else, or it could be a gentle reminder that He is in control and that you need to follow Him. So I encourage you right now, give God control of the rest of the day. Plan your days in pencil, not in ink, and let Him erase any plans He doesn’t want in your day. Begin being flexible by following God’s plan for your day.