As a project manager, I do a lot of planning. I even plan time to do plans. It’s been part of my DNA since the 9th grade. As class president I was saddled with planning the class trip to Lake Winnipesauke (no, I did not spell that correctly the first time. Thanks, Word, for the red squiggly of spelling failure). I gathered names, confirmed if they were going, collected money, gave instructions when we arrived, and made sure it all went off without a hitch. It was the first time I was “the man with the plan.”
You can probably guess one of my favorite TV quotes comes from Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith. The leader of the A team always had a plan. Nobody seemed to know what the plan was, but inevitably all the pieces would fit together, and we’d hear the famous tag line “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Unfortunately, Hollywood often paints an unrealistic picture (thank you, Captain Obvious). Actual military men have a much more realistic perspective on planning. Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
“In preparing for battle, I have found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Prussian military commander, Helmuth vam Moltke, famously said:
“No plan survives first contact with the enemy.”
So true. In battle, software development, marriage, and life in general, plans change. Anyone who’s raised kids knows that no plan survives contact with the teenage years. If you’re still breathing (and I assume you are), life is probably going to throw you a HUGE curve ball at some point. It might be a health issue, loss of a job, a wayward child, or a broken marriage.
But there’s good news. We know the Great Project Manager. He foresaw every twist and turn and change to our plans before we were born. Consider Jeremiah 29:11:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
As we all continually we rework OUR plans, I hope we’ll earnestly seek His seek face and trust in HIS plan. His ways are higher than our ways.
Pardon me, I need to get back to my Gannt chart.