The Religious Myth of Planning

 “If you are planning your own life, plan to fail.”

 (A common religious message I heard throughout my entire life.)

I grew up a Christian. If I wasn’t on the way to church in a bus packed with incessantly singing hyperactive children, then I was usually attending church with my grandparents during our weekend visits. My summers as a child and teen were always spent at various Christian camps located in the mid-west and, because my mother was not too keen on church, I spent a great deal of time reading the bible during the school year.

Early on in life, I relied on Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…”, my god knew the plans for my life and if I simply wanted it bad enough, they would materialize.

During my sophomore year of college, I evolved into a heathen. Tossing aside all my bibles I had collected, I started studying new age philosophies. Soon practices like the Law of Attraction, hoodoo, astrology and the use of earthly elements conjured up my deepest desires. Let me clarify that I wasn’t seated in the middle of a pentagram making deals with evil forces. In fact, I simply just took control of my life.

Every one of my personal visions, from job positions to dating, has materialized in my life. However, along with a desire, I also depended on other factors (such as tarot, numerology and actual work) to guide me to my goals. By seeing my wants develop into tangible objects, I debunked the myth that religion once taught me-we can only rely on God’s plan.

Similar to most agnostics, I rely on a higher power simply for guidance. So, I ask for signs and symbols only as a way to support my movement towards goal obtainment. The religious idea that God’s plan is more important than our own is often contradicted with a God that gives us the desires of our heart. In a sense, if God yields to our desires than our plans are his own.

So, I plan the life I want to live every day because I know that I am in control of my future. Taking James 2:20, “…faith without works is dead”, I work relentlessly to create the vision in my mind for myself. Every plan that fell through was not necessarily a failure, and the actual act of failing is not a sign that your path is not your own. The idea that we fail when we plan outside of God’s will creates a false idea of failure; it is inevitable because we all fail.

Taking responsibility for my own plan, my pursuit towards my goals are consistent, even in my downfalls. It is my belief that each failed attempt is not a block, but a symbol for change. The vision will materialize, but only once all the right measures are taken.

When we plan to succeed, how can we possibly fail.

Author: Chris.Marie

Freelance Writer & Editor

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