Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Devotion 5.10.17

"The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry." This was the line from a poem, "The Mouse," by Robert Burns that John Steinbeck later adapted to write Of Mice and Men.  In looking up the quote, American Heritage notes that in the old English, Burns wrote, "The best laid schemes o' mice and men...."

Interesting difference in the word choices.  Is it "plans" or is it "schemes?" The difference would infer motive.  Are you planning or are you scheming?  Planning drives much of our lives from crops to plant, to school activity, and to formal business or public organization short- and long-range goals.  When does a plan become a scheme?

In baseball, the Astros were bought and traded off all the major talent in what was called a plan to rebuild the organization, philosophically and in terms of strategy.  The team that made it to the World Series was gone, and an era of losing, as announced by the new ownership, would eventually blossom into a contender ("give us five years" was the phrase).  Metrics (statistics) were in, and the old "gut instinct" way of baseball was out, adapted from the Oakland Athletics, which was covered well in Michael Lewis' Moneyball.  The problem is the Athletics (A's) have never made the pure metrics system work, so the Astros purposely brought in St. Louis management to couple the "metrics" approach with the development of a great farm system.  In other words, it was all done as part of a plan, goals and strategies, the outcome of which is still developing. If successful, then the plans worked.  If not, writers will note the schemes of the people in baseball to just market a team and not actually win.

As we grow and develop as believers, do you ever stop to think that your growth and development is planned and not accidental? "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)  If you couple that with Ephesians 2:10, you see a pattern, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."  Our lives may not be scripted, but God has plans for us as a body of believers, and for us as his disciples, growing and learning each day.  Learning to not resist those plans is part of the "forging" we desire from God.

Pray that we have an open heart to God's will and that the Spirit move us into action as we grow, learn, and witness about Christ and the hope that He gives.

Hope Men's Ministry

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