by Rick Warren — May 31, 2022
From God’s Prescription for a Healthy Life
“Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance."
Proverbs 13:16 (GNT)
If you want to achieve the goals you’ve made for yourself, you’ll need a plan to get from where you are to where you want to go. And you’ll need a plan to overcome the unexpected problems you’ll face on that journey. Without a plan, you won’t have the roadmap you need to reach your goals.
Genesis 24 tells the story of Abraham’s chief servant’s ingenious plan to find a wife for Abraham’s son, Isaac. The servant had two major obstacles to fulfilling his goal. Where would he find a wife for Isaac in his master’s homeland? And how was he going to find a high-character woman without observing her long-term? He devised a plan to solve both of these problems.
First, the servant went to a place where women gathered in those days—a well. He had much higher odds of finding a wife at that well than at any other place he could have gone.
And he knew exactly how to get the type of wife he wanted for Isaac. He wanted to find a compassionate woman, so he looked for someone who would offer to draw up to 15 gallons of water for each of his 10 camels. That’s a lot of water!
He didn’t just rely on guesswork to accomplish his goal. Instead, he prayerfully established a plan, and, ultimately, he was successful. In doing so, he proved what the Bible says in Proverbs 13:16: “Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance” (GNT).
Good planning—whether that plan is for your family, your work, your ministry, or a different area of your life—has three parts to it:
- Steps: You need to establish how you are going to get from where you are now to where you want to go. Write down those steps.
- Deadlines: Assign a date to each step. A goal is a statement of faith as you plan what you believe God wants you to accomplish by a particular date.
- Schedule: Write those dates into your calendar. Don’t just hide them in a filing cabinet or up on a shelf. If you show me what’s on your calendar, I can tell you what’s important to you.
Studies show that only 5 percent of Americans have written goals for their lives; those same 5 percent are also the highest wage earners in the nation. Successful people set their direction and go for it. Unsuccessful people drift; life just happens to them. Without any goals, they don’t know where they’re going in life and time just passes by.
Don’t let your life drift by. Instead, follow the example of Abraham’s servant. Set a clear goal and then develop a plan to reach it!