“Make plans in pencil, not ink.”
When our pastor shared this thought during the message last Sunday, it immediately jumped out at me and I’ve been thinking about it multiple times a day ever since. I told Caleb Sunday night on our walk that the idea is so simple and almost … obvious? We have NO idea what’s going to happen later today, tomorrow, next week, or next year. And still, no matter how obvious that is, I certainly have not been making my plans in pencil.
When I reflect on my life, even for just a moment, it’s very easy so see that a lot of my plans either didn’t happen or definitely didn’t work out how I thought they would. For some of them, I am thankful things didn’t go according to my plan but there are also a few things that are really hard to accept or understand. Personally, I come to terms with these things by faith … choosing to accept that I may never know or understand a lot of things in this lifetime, but I will still choose to believe in the goodness of God. Let me tell you, this isn’t always easy.
As I continue to mull over what my future could look like writing my plans in pencil, I am certainly filled with a sense of relief … and hope. For me specifically, this idea helps tie up a lot of loose ends in my struggle to live presently and not worry about the unknowns of the future. Our pastor talked about how PLANNING is important and necessary and good. PLANS, however, can quickly become just the opposite.
Plans, especially those *set in stone* plans, can lead to disappointment and even gut-wrenching heartache when they’re disrupted. I make plans, but I’m not sure if they will actually happen. Someone once said that “the only certainty is uncertainty.”
Planning in pencil, however, with open hands and with a sense of release so that if said plans don’t happen I am not crushed, is an active mindset shift that I can choose to adopt. I will plan this event, but it’s in pencil. I will plan for our business, but it’s in pencil. I will plan for my future and for retirement, but it’s in pencil. As I visualize writing my plans in pencil, I experience that sense of release. I let go of the false sense of permanency and control that I now accept doesn’t actually exist.
As I mentioned earlier, this mindset shift helps me live in the moment because now, there’s nothing to worry about in the future. I don’t know what’s to come and there is truly nothing I can do about that anyway. If bad comes, I am not so disrupted and crushed because I knew this was a possibility. But also, if unexpected good comes, I am more flexible and able to pivot, or see new things, because my plans are in pencil; they can easily be rewritten.
I think it’s time to go buy a pencil ; )