Should I Plan For My Life?
By Joseph Han
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)
As a university student, Covid-19 came as a reminder of how little we are in control of our life goals and career ambitions. We can make all kinds of plans for our lives, but only God is ultimately the one in control.
Studying in Manchester for nearly two years, I often find myself sandwiched between complete opposites: between the pursuit of prestige, money and lofty ambition and the wholehearted pursuit of God.
Among my circle of friends, there was mutual support as we began to plan, prepare and work hard to chase success.
My local church community, however, reflected a completely different set of priorities. Many of the youth took a gap year after graduation to serve God full-time, volunteered in Christian organisations for the summer or worked part-time jobs in order to be at church as often as possible. I had witnessed how some of them planned their personal lives around God in an amazing example of Christian Hedonism. They truly embodied what it meant to be completely happy in pursuing whatever they believed brings glory to God.
This brought me to the question: What should we really pursue? Should I plan for life?
Just as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Whatever we may have planned for our lives, we should do it for the glory of God and not be afraid.
Planning for our future is right, keeping ourselves financially secure is also not wrong, but just like what the January memory verse says, “Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows”. If we place our faith more on our own plans and actions, rather than in God’s provision, then what faith do we have?
I’ve also drawn some parallels from our current study on 1 Kings 1-11. I saw how King Solomon, through his life, managed to glorify God’s name across the secular world (well, at least initially). The story of Solomon in 1 Kings serves as a great reminder to me that the pursuit of holiness will ultimately lead to God making our paths straight, as we set our minds towards His glory.
In the third chapter of 1 Kings, Solomon asked for an ‘understanding heart’ and discernment in order to judge the people of God. He asked for these virtues for the purpose of glorifying God and edifying His people, and God blessed him with wisdom while promising him a legacy like no other before and after him. We see how Solomon exercised his wisdom as a great diplomat with bilateral trade agreements and created a decentralised hierarchy of management for the construction of God’s temple. These resulted in the completion of the magnificent temple in Jerusalem. Eventually, Solomon was also renowned across the region and everyone came to recognise the part God has played in the success of Solomon’s kingdom and glorified God.
We can plan, we can propose, but only God disposes according to His sovereign will.
I have come to acknowledge that the difficulty lies not in finding the perfect balance but whether my heart is right with God as I approach the life He has given us on Earth. While I still do not know what God holds for me, I will continue to plan for it. We will never know what is in hold for us in the next decades, but we can only approach our secular plans with a resolve to intend it for the Glory of God.