Preparation and Planning

As a student teacher I was introduced to ‘lesson preparation’… preparing what I was going to teach and how I was going to teach it.

I’ve spent my life preparing for the next activity or event in the family, school, church. The old perceived wisdom says: ‘Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.’

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Rachel and I went out for lunch. We tried to recall the preparation and planning that went into our wedding, the reception, our first flat, buying our first house… Many memories were hazy.

Today friends and family are joining us to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The planning’s been going on for weeks; much of yesterday was spent preparing… food, drink … checking the weather forecast, tidying the garden… gazebos, seating… Daughter Jo brought balloons and decorations.

‘Have we remembered…?’ ‘What if…?’ ‘Should we have…?’

Musing… however good our preparation and planning there is so much in life that’s outside our control. Well-prepared school lessons can go disastrously badly – unprepared lessons can be a huge success.

We brought up three children in the same home, the same opportunities, the same preparation and planning…. They’ve turn out totally different…

Yesterday afternoon we visited a friend who’s dying. No planning could have prepared the family for her sickness. Her husband is preparing her funeral – the one bit he has some control of…

I return to Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks): ‘My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’

I balance that with St Paul’s statement of faith: ‘I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to him…’

Today – we hope all goes well; that we have a good day with family and friends; that the preparation and planning will pay off.

The future – we shall continue to prepare and plan. Yet so much is unknown and outside our control. And we entrust our God with that.

6 thoughts on “Preparation and Planning

  1. I remember the shortest, and best, assembly the teacher, whose job I got when the poor chap died so young, gave. He put a bucket on the floor and said to the kids:

    “Life is like a bucket. You get out of it what you put into it”! and he then sat down

    I have used that analogy on many occasions throughout my life since, especially with musical instrument practice, rehearsals and marriage.

    Happy belated anniversary wishes.

    Alan B


  2. Thanks for this Malcolm. Just to be clear Sarah has planned her celebration- I just get to attend!

    Hope you’re shin dig goes well. I have a card for you, should have passed it to you yesterday!!

    Take care.




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