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Big Plans

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Life doesn’t always work out the way that we planned, does it? In fact, it frequently deviates from the ‘plan’ so significantly that the sixteen-year-old, dream-filled version of ourselves may not recognize the person whom we have become. I often joke that the physically superior teen version of myself is lying in wait behind a bush somewhere, hoping to kick my butt when I least expect it.
Our natural propensity is to establish benchmarks in life, and proceed forward with whatever venture is next. The exception to the rule: those moments in life when our present station renders us weary of progressing. Instead of looking ahead at the tremendous possibilities, the fear-laden autopilot assumes control and we begin to reminisce about days passed. Suddenly we find ourselves planning a return to earlier days; it was, after all, so much better then – or so we think.
Our generation is not the first to experience this unstable phenomenon. Although promised by God “a land flowing with milk and honey,” the Israelites became terrified with their journey through the wilderness. They exhibited such desperation that they were suggesting a return to Egypt: the place that had enslaved them for hundreds of years prior. It didn’t matter that they had been freed from oppression and promised a fruitful life; they didn’t have enough patience to even make the short journey across the desert from slavery to prosperity.
In my own life I’ve found that I’m compelled to backtrack just shy of reaching my destination. Although when are runners wearier of their race than right before crossing the finish line? Our choice in this life is relatively simple: when adversity finds us, will we panic and run backward to the very thing that enslaved us for so long, or will we finish the race set before us (Hebrews 12), and forge ahead to grab the promise of something better?

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