Planning for the Future

One of the students here at Southwestern is putting together a devotion book based on Proverbs 31. She asked me to contribute something…here it is:

“She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” Prov. 31:16

One thing that we become very good at in life as women is crisis management. As children, we play referee in a friendship circle that is feuding. As college students, we stay afloat amidst competing homework, career, and activity requirements. As adults, we balance family, career, health and personal obligations. There is never enough time in the day in order to accomplish all that we have to do, and so we must learn to prioritize our responsibilities. The Noble Woman of Proverbs 31 knew this. She never let the important crowd out the essential.

One of the essentials that she understood was that of long-range planning. We see our busy woman not just putting her earnings up for safekeeping in a savings account, but she’s putting them to good use and investing them in a field that will bear fruit…in time. We’re led to believe that she doesn’t just make a snap decision; rather, she weighs her options, probably selecting the one with the best natural irrigation, least amount of weeds, richest soil. She thoughtfully makes a decision that she knows will pay off in the long run.

And yet, this is more than a good time-management skill. There is a character lesson in this for us. As we submit ourselves to the discipline of long-range planning, we are being formed to become patient people. Planting a field is not something that has a quick return. It takes time for the seeds to grow. It takes diligence to root out the weeds that threaten to overtake. It takes faithfulness to harvest a crop and make it usable. And that is exactly the wisdom in becoming a woman who can spend the extra time today to do something that will have a payoff long into the future.

Question for reflection:
What is something that you know is important that is in your future, but you haven’t taken the time to adequately prepare for it? As you look ahead, ask God to set your priorities and help you have the patience to do that hard work today so that it might pay off tomorrow.

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About ashleealley

I am the Clergy Recruitment and Development Coordinator for the Great Plains United Methodist Church. I particularly enjoy helping people see what God is calling them to do and knowing how to respond to that. I'm an ordained deacon in the UMC. When I'm not deacon-ing, I run, or read, or spend time with family or friends.
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