Links Daily Devotional

The Lord’s Plans

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, ESV)

When I was playing on tour, I liked planning my own travel arrangements and tournament schedule. It was like navigating a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. First, I would create the framework on the calendar and then, in two- to three-month increments, the smaller details of flights, housing, roommates, and Monday pro-am events were organized and took shape. I enjoyed the challenge of pulling it all together and, once completed, it became embedded in my mind’s eye.

Maintaining tight control of my calendar made me feel grounded in the chaos of tour life, but it also lent to little room for flexibility or change.

I still believe making plans each day and for the future is important. Ultimately, however, it is the Lord who establishes these plans in such a way that when the final piece of the puzzle is put in place, the picture will hold colors, shapes, and details beyond what we could ever imagine. Frustrations, delight, fear, and hope may collide as the puzzle progresses, but if we remain flexible to the Lord’s rendering of our own unique picture, he will give us the eyes and heart to enjoy the process.

I am a long way away from holding the last puzzle piece in my hand, but the picture I see unfolding today is distinctly different than the one I laid out after I retired from the tour. As a quiet introvert, all I wanted was to disappear behind a computer screen; I did not want to be around people. But the Lord establishes my steps… and he was not going to allow me to hide. Instead, the last six years have included getting help with my past wounds and experiences of loss, becoming a trained leader with Open Hearts Ministry, completing a lay counseling certificate program to care for others, starting my own ministry to athletes, and becoming a part of the Links Players team. All of these opportunities involve relationship with people and I have enjoyed every moment.

Recently, I enjoyed a few days with the seven men serving the Lord with their time and talents on staff for Links Players. As they joyfully welcomed me around the table, today’s Proverb stirred within me. Golf ministry was never a part of my plan. But the Lord establishes my steps… and there I sat in the middle of a golf ministry staff meeting.

What a blessing to be with passionate men who deeply love the Lord and want to be conduits of love to others. If I would have been stubborn to only follow my plans years ago, I would be missing out on relationships today with men who are kind, playful, intelligent, encouraging, visionary, and without a doubt competitive.

We all have a heart that will naturally desire to plan our own way. Some plans we make are small and feel irrelevant compared to others that are big and dreamlike. Regardless of where you find yourself on the spectrum of planning your way, it is the Lord who creates the pieces, frames the border, and takes the picture to completion. Be open, be flexible, and be watchful as it unfolds.

Tracy Hanson
July 16, 2015
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