For the sake of livelihood, people in the world need to work. They also need to realize their goals and dreams. Planning usually goes before performance. Yet we often wonder what direction we should take in life. What is our ultimate goal in life? How should we proceed?
Wisdom and foolishness mark different types of people. A person who is wise usually has a vision for the future and engages in more profound thoughts that result from careful observation. On the other hand, the simple-minded do not plan ahead; they do things as chance falls upon them, and count it a day when the day is over.
Most matters can also be divided into two categories: important and unimportant. Important matters require careful planning and stringent standards to ensure success. But trivial matters do not require such circumspect precision, for failure in trivial matters does not result in much damage.
A common flaw among rational intellectuals is that they spend too much time on planning. Such people are often excessively worried and so anxious to complete their work that they have no time to ask for God’s guidance. True wisdom, however, lies in trusting the Lord wholeheartedly—acknowledging Him in all your ways, and leaning not on your own understanding. Planning ahead is certainly important, but don’t forget the free help that comes from the power of prayer. Seek the Lord’s will in prayer so that you may plan ahead properly. In your work, ask for the Lord’s guidance and help always, for this is the key to success in every matter. If you know how to leave more time to ask Jesus to direct your steps, you can elude much sorrow and grief. You will also have the presence of God’s grace.
James speaks of a certain trader who plans to go to a certain city the following day to conduct business and make money. Yet the trader fails to acknowledge that he does not know what will happen the next day. Our lives are like a cloud, which vanishes soon after its appearance. With this in mind, we ought to learn to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that" (Jas 4:15). This is right attitude we should have toward life: whatever we plan to do, let us always remember to first consider the will of God.