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The world of fiction has given us numerous quotes about the art of planning, but one such exchange stands out as my favorite.

"Best laid plans of mice."

"And men."


"Best laid plans of mice and men."

"Oh. No, I don't think men had much to do with it."

-- Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

If nothing else, a universe wherein mice are the most intelligent beings should remind us that in our own (real) world, we're still not the top of the intelligence hierarchy. Omniscient God is. No matter how thoroughly we plan, we can't account for everything -- and we'd go crazy trying. Now don't get me wrong: I strongly advocate planning everything that can and should be planned. I know if I didn't have about two or three planners and calendars, I'd go mad. But if I tried to get the universe to run on my timetable, I'd be even worse off.

The best plans, the only plans that even really work, are God's plans. He knows what needs to happen, what steps to take, and when to do things. We mess it up, follow our own wills and plans, and we get it wrong. Instead of being where we wanted to be five years down the road, we've landed in unknown territory without a compass, wondering where it all went wrong. Maybe that's why Christ teaches us, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34).

May God's plans be your plans in the new year. And leave the mice out of it.

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