Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. – Alfred A. Montapert
Problems arise when you least expect them. Often when you are perfectly prepared you are perfectly positioned for something to go wrong.
Let me explain…
When I plan and prepare I manufacturer a vision for the outcome of events – the order in which things are supposed to happen, the specific way each thing is supposed to be done, and the overall “feel” or “mood” that will be created.
Inevitably though, the vision I have seldom ever comes to fruition. It might turn out in a similar fashion, but hardly, if ever, exact. Often times, in the moment, when something turns out differently than I thought it should have it creates an awkward moment. I might stutter, go off on a tangent, try to save the moment but most likely fail, or just flat out get frustrated and do my best not to show it. In any case, I feel as though the moment is ruined, or, at least, not as impactful as I planned.
Is preparing good? Absolutely. Is it good to have a vision for the outcome of events? Yes….however, I think when preparing and manufacturing that “perfect” vision it is important to keep a few things in mind.
1.) “Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” We spend hours preparing and then in an instant “the cards get thrown out.” Always pray and seek God’s direction THEN plan accordingly.
2.) Plan to fail. Be ready for things to go wrong. When you have a structure in your head and in the moment it derails, more than likely, it feels like you just ran off a cliff, but consider for a moment that you didn’t crash. Maybe you just turned on a different set of tracks that takes you to the same destination. Embrace it. Planning to fail can lead to success.
3.) Follow the leading of the Holy Spirt. In your personal preparation for a Worship service God may lead slightly different than he will when everyone is gathered together on Sunday. For example, you may plan to finish one song and then transition directly into the next song, but in the moment you might feel the prompting of the Spirit to say a prayer, or quote a scripture, or share something on your heart. You may be hoping that after the last song the congregation will continue singing the chorus or bridge section of the song, but in the moment the Spirit might lead to just simply end the song. Embrace it. Don’t fight it.
As a leader, the absolute best thing we can do for the people is to follow God’s leading. We want to lead people down the path that leads to Christ, not the path that leads to us being happy that our plans went exactly like they were “supposed to.”
Follow God’s leading and eat your problems for breakfast! …or lunch or dinner. 🙂
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Have you ever been frustrated by things not going according to plan?
How do you plan and prepare so that you can be ready for anything?