Whether it’s boasting about yourself or your plans, God says it’s not to be done. So, no boasting for He is the author of our tomorrows and our stories.
This proverb is NOT saying not to make plans for the future. If it were the case, Jesus wouldn’t have told us to go out and spread His word. Instead, He would have said, “Hang out and see what happens around you.” There would be no need for teachers, prophets, evangelists, or any other worker if there was nothing to do in preparation for the future.
What the proverbs IS saying is that we don’t have control over tomorrow so don’t act as though you do. I have things I want to do “tomorrow” and that I have planned to do. But I KNOW, from TOO MUCH experience, that not everything goes according to MY plans. I have learned the HARD WAY to be flexible in my plans and expectations.
I have ALSO learned to persevere in the face of obstacles. This may be a due to the ‘stubborn streak’ I was born with. I KNOW God created me exactly as He intended, so, He has a purpose in my life for my perseverance. Paul calls us to persevere too. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
GOD is in control, NOT us.
While I’m sitting here thinking about how to explain what I’m feeling about this parable, I was reminded of something I said one time. Those of you who have traveled with me for any length of time in our journey through scriptures have heard tell of my tenacity/stubbornness. The story I want to relate to you is FULL of that trait.
After my first husband left me and our four children, I knew I needed to find a way to support us without relying on him. I didn’t believe I could trust him to maintain that roll. I was already helping to support our family and was employed as a classroom assistant. I needed something more so I resolved to go back to school. I was directed towards one career path and I put my WHOLE HEART into seeing it come to pass.
There was a selection process that everyone had to go through to enter my program of choice. The first year I applied I was too late. There were already too many qualified applicants ahead of me. Rather than looking for something else, I got a copy of the classes required for this specific degree. I spent that first year taking everything except the specialized classes for the degree. And I threw myself into preparations for applying to the program the next year.
When selection time came for the second year, I was included in those to be interviewed. It was a group interview with a panel of the professors for the program. One of the questions we were asked was “What will you do if you don’t get accepted?” When it came time for me to respond the answer flew out of my mouth. “I’m going to get in. If I am turned down this year, I will be back the next. And each year after that until I am excepted.”
Even as I gave my answer I was shaking inside. I was scared spitless that I would be rejected and then not know what to do next with my life. But I WOULD NOT show it! I boldly declared my future. Fortunately, the professors were impressed with my determination and God didn’t block my chosen path. I was accepted that same year.
Looking back I see how foolish my answer was. I honestly knew NOTHING about the profession I was pledging myself to and if I hadn’t gotten in that year, I have NO idea what I would have done next. It was a foolish and arrogant boast. I’m just glad God let me get away with that one. He has also used the education I gathered in that field of study to help me in my life today.
As for the second verse in our reading, we are told not to boast about ourselves too. I’m pretty quick to point out my mistakes but hold back on ‘patting myself on the back’. Sometimes I go so far as to try and brush off compliments. I am pleased with the talents God has given me and I think I do a good job using many of them. But the talents are HIS gift. Not something I earned or can boast about achieving. I have a LOT to learn in all the fields He has opened for me. I’ll boast in His leading and just keep following.
Father God, thank You for showing me an example of what You were trying to get across to me. I couldn’t put it into words, so You did it for me. Thanks God. For SO MANY things! Including letting me get away with that stupid boast. For all the talents You have let me explore in my life. For loving me when I am being unlovable. Let me use those talents to bless others. Where You lead me I will follow.