My grandsons had no idea where each chess piece should be placed to begin or even continue a game! Their Nana sure could not help, but they had fun anyway, confidently moving the pieces around according to some unseen vision in their little heads! The strategy escapes me but I do know enough to recognize that “check” is not what one wants to hear, and “checkmate” even less, signaling that the game is over.
Today’s verse talks about making plans for the future. Of course it is important in reaching any goal to carefully plan a strategy. A building is not begun without considering the estimated cost (Luke 14:28). But this passage is speaking to the arrogance of making plans without thought to the plans the Lord may have. We do not know what tomorrow will hold or whether we will have life and breath to carry out our future plans (verse 14). The unexpected can always “check” or “checkmate” our progress.
When I make plans I want to always recognize that the Lord may have something different in mind. Recognizing this keeps me humble and it keeps me in an attitude of submission. Recognizing His control also keeps me asking and listening to Him. As wonderful as I think my plan is, I do not want to miss out on something better! He knows what tomorrow holds. He knows what health issues I may be facing later or what financial challenge lay ahead. Being overconfident about my plans is seen as “boasting” in the Lord’s eyes (verse 16). There may be a change of plan but through it I can trust Him.
Lord, keep me following Your plan.