What plans do you have? Perhaps you’ve got plans for your next holiday? Plans for redecorating or having the kitchen done or sprucing up your garden? Plans for a new job – or retirement? Plans for a new house? Or a change of direction in your life?
We love to plan – but how often do we think about God’s plans? God’s plans for the world as a whole, but also the ways you and I fit into those grand plans.
Jesus’s eyes were fixed on God’s plans. At the Last Supper, we hear Jesus talking about Himself. Jesus says “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed” (Luke 22:22). In some translations it says “determined” – so Jesus is talking about the determined or decreed plan for His life, as set by God the Father. Interestingly, the word used in the original Greek is where we get our word ‘horizon’ from. So the plan for Jesus’ life is the horizon to which He’s headed. For Jesus, this was His death on the cross.
So where is your horizon? What are you moving towards – intentionally or unintentionally?
I believe that for Christians, our horizon at its greatest, the horizon above all horizons, has to be Jesus Christ. We want to be growing in love for Jesus. We want to be drawing closer to Jesus. We want to be obeying Jesus. We want to be Jesus’ hands and feet in a broken and hurting world. But within that vast and immeasurable horizon will be what God wants for each of our lives right now.
It might be something really big, exciting and/or terrifying in equal measure! We have some friends who’ve moved to be missionaries in Kyrgyzstan. My wife’s parents went and lived and volunteered in an orphanage in China for two years when they retired. God might be calling you to something like that…
Or, more likely, it might be a more every-day, ordinary sort of calling. We mustn’t play these down: Being faithful to God in the midst of a storm of ill health or bereavement. Working to reconcile a damaged relationship. Forgiving someone who’s hurt you. Being there to support a family member or neighbour who’s in need. Giving generously of time and/or money to support a particular cause. Serving in the church, maybe at a lunch club for the elderly or with children and youth. These are the every-day, ordinary callings on which the kingdom of God is built.
Over time, these plans will change. That’s the thing about horizons. You walk towards the horizon, and what do you see? A new horizon! God’s plan for us will move as we move, as we humbly obey and follow our way to the ultimate horizon, the horizon of Jesus and His glorious Kingdom.
So what plans do you have? Where is your horizon?
And – most importantly – how might you get in step with God’s plans?
What step do you need to take today?
Rev. Matt Stone is Minister of Herringthorpe URC, Rotherham