The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. – Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)
Confession time: I am a control freak. I overthink everything. I need to know what the outcome of any action will be so I can weigh the possible pitfalls and calamities before I decide to proceed. I’d probably be a great risk analyst for some insurance company.
There is great wisdom in counting the cost before moving forward. However, it is important to understand this: we are not in control. None of us decides the outcome of any endeavor in our lives. Indeed, the results of our very lives themselves are wholly and entirely in the hands of God.
You have probably seen the sculpture of Atlas, the Greek mythological titan. There he stands, straining to carry the entire world upon his shoulders. An apt illustration of those of us who strive for perfection, or feel it is our job to be in control of everything.
What egos we have…
The lesson here is simple, but not always easy to apply. We make our plans. We do what we feel we ought. But, when it comes to the outcome, we need to not worry. We are called to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness – His will and His ways. We are not called to worry about the end results.
The simple fact of the matter is none of us is Atlas. The world will crush us beneath it’s immense weight. We are human. We make mistakes. Calamities and actions outside of our “control” happen all the time. It is impossible to know the outcome of our actions.
The only assurance we have in this world is God and His Word. We are called to have faith, to trust the Lord. And, in that trust, we find our rest. Go, do your best. Commit your work as if unto the Lord. But, don’t try to carry the world on your shoulders. That is just way too much for our pay grade.