Do You Have Your 2016 Plan?
by Al Newell
It was a hot humid day. The event had ended. I was carrying our equipment to our truck. Given the enormity of the Gaylord hotel property in Nashville, I tried to take it all in one trip. So I slung bags over both shoulders, filled my small hand truck and pulled our keyboard on wheels. It took all of my energy but knowing my truck was in the parking lot just adjacent to the exit, I knew I could tough it out.
I exited the hotel sweating. I turned to the right. Seeing the parking lot I trudged forward. I remember perfectly the setting where my truck was parked and knew I would see it soon. It was just a little further. I suddenly realized I had journeyed a block. It was just a little further. The heat pounded; sweat drenched my clothes. Just a little further.
Having traveled three blocks, there was no turning back now. After half mile, the surroundings were less familiar and desolate. I’m in trouble. If I continue I will pass out or die. Oh God please help. I felt like a guy lost in the mountains in desperate need of a search and rescue team.
Just then a hotel truck pulled beside me and sent for help. An employee arrived and drove me and my equipment around the hotel. We went another six or more blocks in the same direction I had been walking. Finally, I spotted my truck. I looked back at the hotel, Oh no…there was the door from which I exited. My truck was near the exit, but ever so slightly to the left and not the right! After rehydrating, I laughed.
It is the New Year. New plans for volunteer ministry abound. It is so easy to charge forward in the wrong direction. Save yourself some time. Ask yourself this one thing, did I seek God adequately before I laid out my plans?
King David a man after God’s own heart sought to build a house for God. What a beautiful notion! After all God had done for him, what could be more appropriate? What could make more sense? Even David’s prophet Nathan said, Do all that is in your heart. The one problem, it wasn’t God’s plan. Neither had consulted God. That night God spoke to Nathan and told him directly, this is not My plan!
If you already have laid out your plans and you’ve forgotten to include God, could you admit it? Or if you are not sure, wouldn’t it be well worth your time to do a double check?
The vision of God is seen not with our eyes but with our heart. So many things that make sense and seem right may not be of God. Volunteers that love God aspire to God’s vision with their heart not with their eyes. So may I encourage you to avoid trekking through the year with your volunteer equipment slung over your shoulders, pushing your hand truck and pulling your cart full of good strategies? Take the time to make sure you have sought God. High Impact volunteer ministry always begins with God’s vision which is only a slight turn from ours.