Throughout my career, I was involved in many projects. Some were small, lasting a few hours or days, involving few people, and having little financial impact. Some were enormous, lasting months or years, involving large teams of people, with financial impact measured in the millions of dollars. Sometimes, I was only a participant in these projects; many times, I was tasked with leading or sponsoring them. I'm not naturally a project manager, but the discipline of project management was drummed into me week after week, month after month, until it became an ordinary part of my way of thinking and working.
I have recently been involved in a visioning process for the future of our local church, in which I have been struggling to see the overall project plan. However, I've had the opportunity to speak with a pastor whom I respect, who has been able to re-orient my thinking.
Philippians 3:13b-14 – One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (NASB)
I had been getting caught up in the structure of planning, trying to see things as I would have in a corporate project: action plans, timing details, milestones to be achieved, etc. My pastor reminded me that in the church, our goal is not to complete the project plan, but to seek always the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
How then to proceed, when a detailed plan — a roadmap — isn't available? He said, simply, "That's where faith comes in," and for me, that's when the penny dropped. I remembered a sermon that I heard many years ago, perhaps 20 or 25 years, that has stayed with me ever since.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (NASB)
In that long-ago sermon, the minister reminded us that in biblical times, a lamp would not have been what we're used to today: no super-bright LED, casting light hundreds of feet ahead. In those times, a lamp would have illuminated only a small patch of light — if walking, only a few steps ahead. Yet, if we're walking in faith, light for those few steps is sufficient.
If you, too, are struggling with something that you're trying to achieve, unable to see the full plan or path, perhaps you will find these same ideas helpful: whatever your interim objectives, the overall goal is the furtherance of God's kingdom here on earth, and each step, taken prayerfully and in full faith, will be protected and guided by God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us with Your guidance and wisdom. Thank You for protecting our steps, illuminating our path, and inspiring our work. We give You all thanks and praise, in the holy and precious name of Jesus. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "It Is Well With My Soul" (Lyrics)