Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's the plan?

My friend Jane is brilliant.

Not just because she's earned her doctorate, or is uncannily discerning, or has made excellent relationship choices, or continuously shelved her own needs to honor her father and mother in the most optimal and sacrificial of ways.

My friend Jane is brilliant because she is a planner.

From the moment our friendship developed in our early 20s, Jane had a plan. I'm not talking for the next 5 to 10 years (though we'd be nuts to not recognize that of course those did and still do exist in her world); I'm talking about a plan for Errands Saturday. A plan for dinner on Tuesday. A plan for Christmas and birthday shopping. You get the idea.

Some people look at me and think I'm a planner.

A little clarification for those very kind people: I'm not. By nature I'm not, I mean. I have learned -- the very hard way -- that it pays to plan. That doesn't always mean I do it, though.

I'm, by nature, the farthest thing there is from a planner. In most things that are rebekah, I prefer to -- wait for it! -- play it by ear.

If I had a nickel for every time Jane asked, "What's the plan?" and I responded with, "Eh, let's just play it by ear" in the year 2000 alone, well, I'd have bought a new car in 2001. (Jane, however, would've saved diligently, researched investment options, and would likely be living out the retirement part of her plan before she turns 35.)

It's no secret to Jane or to me that these personality traits are likely part of our DNA, or that we both dream of achieving a fabulous balance between the two. We've been laughing about this for a while, and have gotten closer to The Mystical Balance each time we revisit the subject.

What has been a secret to me until just now is the Scripture that points so directly to my sweet friend's natural tendencies:

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'" (Luke 14:28-30)

There are many ways I've tipped my hat to Jane over the years, and for many reasons. Today, I salute Jane via the blogosphere for her wisdom of being a planner, and for her patience with me as I continue my struggle to learn what is a rare artistry in this age of instant gratification.

So, I guess the next question to ask myself is... what's the plan?

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