Lauriault: Take advantage of the opportunities God provides

Lauriault

By Leonard Lauriault

Religion Columnist

We planned to leave Tucumcari on Monday, Dec. 28, to visit my mother in Lexington, Kentucky for her 98th birthday. Hotel arrangements were made and paid for based on a favorable 10-day forecast. Then things changed – the blizzard was coming. So, we decided to leave Saturday morning before Goliath arrived with reservations for that night, but not for Sunday or Monday nights.

We avoided the snowstorm, but Saturday was a long day of driving because of heavy rain and we got to our hotel in Missouri early on Sunday morning and crashed. When we arose late on Sunday morning we decided to stay another night at that hotel and recover. The rain in Missouri wasn’t as bad on Monday, but we passed some places where water had either covered the Interstate or nearly so and was still lapping at the road’s edge.

Since our reservations in Lexington didn’t start until Tuesday night, we stopped early on Monday evening at a resort we’d been interested in for some time, but hadn’t previously visited because of scheduling constraints. We arrived in Lexington on Tuesday and the rest of the trip went as previously planned, although, you’ll read more about our return trip in my next article.

This all reminded me that whatever plans we make need to be within and according to God’s will (James 4:13-16). That being said, unless we’re boastful about what we’re going to do (without including God), most of what we do in daily living isn’t outside of God’s will. Nonetheless, he might just have better plans for us (Isaiah 55:8-9; Jeremiah 29:11). Besides helping us avoid the blizzard and the possibility of being stranded by flooded roads, leaving Tucumcari early afforded us an opportunity to kick back for a day and let the kids enjoy the indoor pool, as well as getting to visit that resort. So, by changing our plans, God both protected us and allowed us to take a longer, more diverse vacation.

Many times, when God changes our plans, he presents us with opportunities he expects us to make the most of (Ephesians 5:8-20). That generally pertains to areas of worship through service, but God also gives us times we should enjoy with gratitude as worship (Galatians 6:9-10; Colossians 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18).

God wants us to make plans and act on them rather than idly waiting for things to happen or not doing what we know to do (Luke 14:28-32; James 4:17). Our planning should include evaluating the setback cost and opportunity value of carrying out our plans maintaining enough flexibility to take advantage of opportunities that may at first seem to be setbacks. God especially wants us to plan and be ready for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:42-51).

Our lives may take many turns in 2016 and some plans are likely to change, even if we made those with God’s will in mind. Take advantage of opportunities God provides (verify they’re within his will) and you’ll always be ready for Jesus’ return.

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net

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