As I take daily walks around the school building, I often come across an article of clothing, a misplaced book, pieces of paper, etc. When I arrived at school this morning and began my morning routine by walking down the west wing, I found several empty water bottles and left over jackets on the floor. As I reached for one of the water bottles, I noticed a 3 x 5 index card with a student’s “to-do list” on it.
The card read: “Things to do on Tuesday”
- Turn in Chem Homework
- Go to tutoring for Chem test
- Ask Mrs. B about essay paper
- Go to lost and found for wallet
- Go to help class for Algebra
I was both struck and encouraged by this note. My initial reaction was that I hoped that student had accomplished everything on his list before he lost it. Overall, though, I was encouraged to think about the steps this student had taken to devise this list, and I became interested in how he worked his plan. The words “initiative”, “conscientious”, and “responsible” kept coming to my mind about the path that this student seemed to be taking to accomplish his goals for Tuesday.
Today I also met with our Senior Council during lunch. What a fun group of students to talk and plan with! I asked them, “Is your senior year going as you expected it to go?” With sheepish laughter, they shared that although they thought this year was going to be pretty laid back with a lot of free time on their hands, their senior year could, in fact, be characterized with words like “hectic”, “demanding”, “busy”, “intense”, and “tiring”. It appeared that their plans for their senior year were a lot different than what reality seemed to be. They were faced with the task of readjusting and reprioritizing their various paths.
Both of these illustrations involved individuals making or having plans. Many of the seniors’ original plans have changed, and now they are redirecting their efforts to make their senior year more focused. The student with the to-do list had a very specific understanding of what was needed to make his day productive.
Whenever I think about planning, my mind eventually returns to several verses in Proverbs 16. Vs. 1- The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord; vs. 3 – Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established; vs. 9 – The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Our best efforts and responsibilities are still subject to God’s absolute sovereignty. We are called to trust and submit to the perfect will of God and He will fulfill our righteous plans. The writer of Proverbs instructs us and reminds us that we are to have plans, but we are to submit these plans to the Lord.
I’m very thankful to be able to work with young people on a daily basis. Many of them display qualities that the Lord will be able to bless. I am encouraged to see these young people learning valuable lessons in the area of planning their daily lives and schedules. These seniors are facing challenges that come from trying to be effective leaders during their senior year while seeking to plan for their future. Their plans, in some cases, are changing almost daily, and yet their commitment to the Lord’s will has to be considered and encouraged. A little 3 x 5 card proved to be an instrument that a young person used in his daily plan to help him focus on accomplishing his goals. I just hope that he found his wallet!