The Scout Motto: BE PREPARED
It’s funny. I never graduated further than the Brownies, but that Scout motto seemed to make an impression.
I often wonder, do some of us just lead a charmed life or there is something to be said for planning ahead?
Planning is one of those areas where we have to work to achieve balance. My faith informs me that we can plot and plan all we want, but ultimately God is the best of planners. Some take that to mean we can sit back and wait for God to work His wonders, while others understand that some work on our part is required but we don’t control the outcome.
That takes some of the pressure off my shoulders of needing to be right or do things perfectly.
Others might suspect planners of having some control issues lurking about (“You are so OCD!”), but I have found that being a bit on top of things helps to keep life on track and moving smoothly.
Adages of my youth suddenly come to mind – ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’ Is that even possible with the lightning speed of internet and technology? Well, yeah. Perhaps the only way to navigate life in these times is with some careful planning lest we be swept away by every new thing that crosses our path.
Friends are list makers and calendar keepers, with reminders popping up every hour on their devices. While I do accomplish more with a list in hand, finding the right balance requires leaving room for spontaneity and the all too frequent appearance of monkey wrenches¹ and Murphy’s Law.
While I am happy to rescue friends with empty gas tanks, I prefer to be a planner. Planning just seems to spare us from headaches and even heartaches down the road, both literally and figuratively. Plan with all your idealistic high hopes and great expectations but keep a little realism going as a Plan B. If after planning you don’t succeed, perhaps it was not meant to be after all or go back to the drawing board and revise. Either way, planning gives a sense of balance and staying afloat in the choppy seas of life.
I’ve found the illusion of control that planning affords does offer peace in my days. Those mornings that I am scattered, waking on the wrong side of the bed, late for this or that, out the door without a few calming thoughts of gratitude for what I have and requests for what I need for the day ahead, those strangers I meet sense that I am off my game and respond accordingly to the negative vibes I am giving off. Tomorrow, back to the plan.
I am a more relaxed planner than I used to be. The potential for future pitfalls, of which I am now more acutely aware, stress me less than my younger days. Experience and wisdom offer a soothing balm that things have a way of working out regardless. But I’ll be prepared – just in case.
¹ Urban dictionary defines monkey wrench as an imaginary tool of sabotage, destruction, overthrow and mischief.
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