Planning A Life
A Greek philosopher made the observation that an unplanned life was not very productive. Usually, he thought, individuals didn't know what they were going to accomplish, where they were going in life or how they would get there.
We, as individuals, need a plan for life, how to get rid of all the jumble and confusion. Most people, we might think, live day by day, concentrating on the pleasure of the moment, caring little for the effort that longtime goals demand. There is a natural tendency to be self-interested, but most of us don't pursue our own best interest. Instead, we follow illusions, momentary desire, mutual conflicting wants. We prefer whim rather than purpose, and we seek pleasure rather than perfection. We are so influenced by the world around us that we, all to often, choose short-term gratification over long term fulfillment.
Most of the time we find that moral errors are the result of shortcuts, attempts to get results in the wrong way. No result of any importance can be achieved in an instant.
The younger we are, the less likely it is that we have a plan for living. When we're young, our goals are usually immediate ones - things to do, things to get, things to be enjoyed today.
As we grow older and more purposeful, we begin to attempt to try to fit our various purposes together into a coherent scheme for living. We learn to plan. We learn we can't do it all at once, and we learn to be flexible in changing conditions to fit our most important goals.
Life offers many opportunities to choose, and every choice we make brings consequences. Not every plan is a good plan. Wrong plans, if adopted, will lead to an unhappy and unfulfilled life. We all want happiness,and we all want to succeed. But some seem to forget that success is not a single achievement. There will always be new choices to face and new consequences to consider. Success is always possible, but it's never final. It must constantly be renewed as a general rule, things gained quickly can be lost quickly.
Perhaps the great paradox in developing a life plan is that we never gain control over our own mind and will not until we ultimately surrender ourselves to something higher.
The beginning of true self-control comes in giving of ourselves to others. It is a lesson and a promise that has been taught by our Master for a couple centuries. Our Master told us that only when we live our lives for others will we find our own happiness and fulfillment. Planning for success in life always involves service to others.
Rev. Hans Lillejord