If a steamship lost its rudder, in mid-ocean, and began circling around, it would soon exhaust its fuel supply without reaching shore, despite the fact that it would use up enough energy to carry it to shore and back several times.
Every well built house started in the form of a definite purpose plus a definite plan in the nature of a set of blueprints. Imagine what would happen if one tried to build a house by the haphazard method, without plans.
With the aid of a small reading glass you can teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized effort. Through the use of such a glass you can focus the sun-rays on a definite spot so strongly that they will bum a hole through a plank. Remove the glass (which represents the definite purpose) and the same rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million years without burning it.
How do these concepts impact us?
Think about the ruderless ship example. If we have no clear direction in our lives - whether it's in regard to our relationships, our education, our jobs, or our spiritual health - we're just like a ship without a rudder. All the effort we're expending in our lives isn't getting us anywhere.
Or consider the example of building a house. Can you imagine trying to build a house without a set of blueprints? Even worse, can you imagine a whole team of construction workers trying to work on the same house without any blueprints or definite plans? It would be chaos. Yet, how often do we approach our lives in this haphazard way? How often do church congregations function in this way?
One of the wisest men to ever live was King Solomon. He tried a lot of things - both good and bad - but he learned from his mistakes and we can benefit from his wisdom today:
The plans of hard-working people earn a profit, but those who act too quickly become poor. - Proverbs 21:5 (NCV)
First, finish your outside work and prepare your fields. After that, you can build your house. - Proverbs 24:27 (NCV)
How are things going in your life? Feeling a little lost? Need direction? Think about making a clear plan for your life. God already has a plan for you, as the prophet Isaiah tells us:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Now it's up to us to work towards fulfilling His plans. And as we do so, let's always do so with the right attitude:
Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NCV)
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. - Philippians 4:6 (NCV)