"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."-Jeremiah 29:11
It wasn’t the most prestigious job in the world, but it was enough for him. It supplied his family needs, and had great working hours. The benefits package was great. As a shepherd for his father-in-law’s flocks, neither he nor his wife would ever starve to death. He was given plenty of family time and could even take time off whenever he needed. By all accounts this man was settled in his lifestyle.
The only thing stopping this man from living out this cushy life was God’s plan for him.
God had no intention of leaving such a great shepherd as Moses to do such a menial task as watching over his father-in-law’s flocks. No, Moses was meant to be the shepherd over a different flock. He was meant to see over the flock of Israel (Exodus 3).
The fact that life is anything but stable is something we are keenly aware of, yet it is never easy in dealing with its changes. And just when we think the tides of life are becoming smooth, steady, and easy to predict, something throws them off again. Our cars break down, health deteriorates, and jobs are lost or change. To be certain, life itself changes.
And we really don’t like it when it does, especially when its changes to our careers. As Americans, we associate who we are with what we do for a living, and maybe rightfully so. We spend a lot of time thinking about our future, and it all revolves around our chosen careers. So when these plans fail, we consider these as failures in life. We say we’re now living out our “Plan B”. When life changes, we become depressed. We think we’ve failed. We’re not what we set out to be, but we never worried about mapping out a backup plan. We feel like life has failed us.
We set out in life to be a doctor but we end up as a doorman. We dream of one day being appointed Ambassador to a great nation, but end up as someone else’s assistant. We hope to one day be a millionaire but instead live paycheck to paycheck as a mechanic.
But have we ever stopped to consider that maybe what we consider “Plan B” is what God considers “Plan A” for us?
Just because life has changed for us, doesn’t mean that life is over for us. It could be that what we see as a failure, God sees as us finally getting on board with His plans. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Luke started out as a prominent physician, yet he’s best known as a disciple of Christ (Col. 4:14; Phm. 1:24).
Matthew began as a hated tax collector, but his “Plan B” was to be an Apostle of Christ (Mat. 9:9; Mat. 10:1-4).
Paul was the greatest persecutor of the early church (Acts 8:3; Acts 13:9). That is, of course, before he wrote over half of the New Testament*.
Rahab was a harlot (Jas 2:25), Jacob was a manipulator (Gen. 25:27-34), and Moses was a murderer (Exo. 2:11-14). Yet, each used a life changing moment to change their lives which, in turn, has had an impact on our lives as well. It wasn’t what they did for a living that changed the world, but rather their service to God.
Likewise, it’s not what you or I do for a living that is important, it’s what we do with the lives God’s given us that matters. Live your life like you’re living it for God, not for a salary or a paycheck. After all, what is important to God is what should be important to us. However, God doesn’t care about how much you make, but what you do with it (1 Cor. 16:2).
Base the person you are on the God you serve, and not on the career you have. Be like Luke and be known as a disciple, and not just a doctor. When you do, you may discover your “Plan B” is where you needed to be all along.
* Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:1; Php 1:1; Col. 1:1; 1 Thes. 1:1; 2 Thes. 1:1; Tit. 1:1; Phm. 1:1