“When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say…”
Matthew 10: 19
I am a person who plans a lot and has usually written out classes and public speeches. A former colleague in ministry jokingly called me “anal-retentive.”
Thus, the advice Jesus gives to his disciples is very challenging. How will I ever be able to explain what I want to say if I don’t have it all planned out, written up, and corrected several times.
However, here in Honduras, I find myself less preoccupied with having everything totally planned. The culture here is not attuned to this way of operating. At times, this is frustrating; at times, it’s downright inefficient; at times, I think it’s even an expression of not really taking some things seriously enough to plan.
I have often connected my over-planning and frustration about the lack of planning with a failure to trust in the Providence of God. This morning I read a very interesting commentary in Bible Diary 2012, that suggests that the compulsion to plan also might reflect a lack of trust in oneself, in the gifts that God has given us:
We associate intelligence with the ability to plan…. Many things in life require planning, but it can become a compulsive habit. If I feel I have to plan everything, it means that I do not trust myself to react correctly in some future situation…. Compulsive planning ensures that I will always live in the past, that I will never fully meet a new situation. Intelligence isn’t an old hat; it is always new. We have to trust the intelligence that is in us; to distrust it is to undermine it.