Hope Reflected: Strategy (On the Road to Success)
Last weekend, Wes and I were playing a game of Battleship. As it usually happens when we play board games, things got pretty heated, and before long, we were engaged in a best of three tournament (and I’ll admit, Wes won two of the three rounds). This brought up the discussion of strategy during the first and second World Wars, and further than that, got me thinking about the relevance of strategy in every day life.
The word strategy is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “A plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.” The thing is though, you might have what you believe to be the best laid plans to achieve your goals, but there are always some circumstances that are out of your control. What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Here are three important factors to consider in your strategy on the road to success:
- If you move too quickly, you’re more likely to go the wrong way. The line between patience and pursuit is a fine one, but as King Solomon – one of the greatest strategists of Biblical times – said in Proverbs 21:5 (KJV), “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Don’t be so eager to achieve your goals that you make decisions before first praying, and thinking. See also King Solomon’s wisdom in Proverbs 13:16 (NKJV), “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool lays open his folly.”
- Be willing to re-evaluate your plan and change your mind. Continually. Sure you’ve set goals, as well as the road map to achieve them, but let’s face it: Life is constantly changing. King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV), “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” We have to be ready and wiling to adapt to – and to anticipate – change. Part of that is having a willingness to hear constructive criticism and listen to the advice of those around you.
- Fight your battles on your knees. I’ve long been a huge fan of Dr. Charles Stanley and his “Life Principles” series, and his “Life Principle 8” states, “Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.” The most important thing to realize about any pursuit in life is that you’re not in it alone. And when I write that, I don’t refer to family or friends. I’m referring to the importance of your relationship with God. While we are all born with a free will, God’s got every circumstance in His control. It’s an amazing truth to realize that when our life strategies don’t go according to plan, we don’t have to panic. Claim Isaiah 41:10 (KJV) which promises, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Ask any successful person, and they’ll tell you the road to accomplishment is not without its sharp curves, potholes, and detours. Don’t give up just because things may not be going the way you want right now. Part of a winning strategy involves learning to be patient, being open to change, and being prayerful in your direction and decisions.