The title is pretty self-explanatory. But it is still not completely accurate.
As Christians, we live our lives hoping that God has a plan for us. We hope that every decision we make is part of “the plan.” We always say, “God has a plan,” “Just wait for God’s plan to reveal itself,” or “God’s plan for your life is not this.” In fact, if I have to hear someone tell me, “God has a plan” one more time, I may just vomit.
Many Christians believe that God has a plan for them because they have had Jeremiah 29.11 stapled on their foreheads since they were babies. But even upon reading the verse, does it deal with specifics or general ideas? “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV). It seems to me that it speaks generally about the plans. It doesn’t say: “Jeremiah, I know the plans I have for you. Here’s what I’m going to do. The first thing, I’m going to get you a wife. Her name will be Lucy. Next, you’ll build a home. But don’t worry about that home for too long, it’ll be destroyed. But after it is destroyed you will have a better home. Oh and you’ll have 167 goats.” No. It doesn’t say that (and not just because it is a completely inaccurate summary of Jeremiah).
Here is my beef with the whole: “God has a plan for you.” What does that mean for free will? There are several routes we could take with the question: Free will causes you to choose against God, Free will is controlled by God to help you make the right decisions, Free will becomes God’s will once you begin to follow Him, etc. So if your free will chooses against God’s specific plan, does that mean that you have chosen against God? If your free will becomes God’s will, then is it free will? If your free will chooses correctly, how many times does it choose incorrectly? Is it possible that there are multiple things that God would have you to do with your life? Is this all too confusing and not really important?
Here is what I mean by hoping that God doesn’t have a plan for me: if there is a specific plan, that means that life could constantly be full of wrong decisions, wrong moves, etc. I do believe that there are things, as Christians, that we should not do: prostitution, drug dealing, idol building, temple destroying, pimping, etc. But if I were to say that my time that I have spent at home is part of God’s plan, I would also have to say that it is the part of the plan that occurs after something really exciting. I have enjoyed my time at home. I have learned many things throughout my time at home, but did God specifically want me home from July 19th, 2011-??? I have no idea. I believe that God had things He wanted to teach me and He has used this time in my life to teach me those things.
All this mess is to say, if God has a specific plan for me, it might be on the sucky side right now. Not because I’m at home. Not because I hate my life. But because there are so many things I want to do, there are so many things I am passionate about doing, and I am not for sure if this is one of them. “If God has a specific plan for me, why haven’t doors opened up?” You reply, “patience.” “How long should one be patient?” “As long as it takes.” “But what happens if you’re so patient that you zone out and miss the doors?” “God will make it known.” “But how do you distinguish between the will of God and emotions?” “They work together.” “Where does logic come into play?” “It can’t be the will of God if it is logical” (okay, maybe people don’t say this, but they imply it).
To me, this takes the fun out of life. I believe that we should stop worrying about the specifics of God’s plan and worry about the general ideas of His plan: to make His Kingdom evident. Whatever passions one may have should be put to that use (you see how prostitution, drug dealing, idol building, temple destroying, and pimping don’t fit into this category?). This is why I hope God does not have a specific plan for me life. I don’t want to worry all my life about screwing it up. Instead, I want to take chances, I want to take risks, learn a lot, fail a lot, learn a lot, fail a lot, learn a lot (that keeps going on), etc. I want to make dangerous choices to serve God. However, sometimes His “specific plan” mentality gets in the way of that.
Am I right? In my opinion, I don’t know. I honestly have no answer to this. Many will respond with Scripture. In advance, I appreciate it. Know that I have read those, as well. So don’t worry about screaming them at me. But let a discussion happen. How much better would life be if we stopped praying for a specific plan to be revealed and instead we began to live every moment making His Kingdom evident…wherever that might take us.