The Game Plan
“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 9:11
While I’m not exactly a trivia junkie, I’ve always been intrigued by odd facts and bits of information. For example, if I were to ask you which of the more than 31,000 verses in the Bible is the most popular, what would you guess? I’ll give you a hint: It’s the verse you often see on placards at football games. That’s right — John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
How do we know that’s the most popular verse in the Bible? The folks at BibleGateway.com have the ability to tally the most frequently searched Scripture references on their website. Not long ago they listed the top one hundred verses based on twenty-five million Bible passage searches over a two-month period. Scanning the list, I noticed that Jeremiah 29:11 came in second place: “‘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.’ ”
Did you notice how many times the word plans appears in that verse? Go ahead, count them. I was struck by the intentionality of the Lord to give us “hope and a future.” After all, a plan speaks of design, of forethought, of establishing a goal and an outcome. I believe it’s fair to say that God is revealing something about his character — that he is a loving, gracious heavenly Father who has our best interest in the center of his heart — while also modeling for us the virtue of having a master plan.
How appropriate for the focus of today’s reflection — namely, developing a “game plan” to manage your career transition. As I see it, if having and executing a plan to reach a desired outcome is modeled by God, then the process of crafting a plan of action to navigate a career transition ought to be important to me. In short, a game plan means proactively scheduling our time to achieve results. Without a plan, we flounder and wander aimlessly, with little progress to show for our activity by the end of the day or the end of the week.
Celebrated NFL football coach and NASCAR team owner, Joe Gibbs, puts it this way: “A win in football starts with a game plan. In racing, it starts with a race plan. The same goes for life. You want to win? You need a winning game plan. My experience has taught me that the only winning game plan for life is God’s game plan — and it starts with the Bible.”
This is why you’ll notice that the first thing on the following seven-part game plan I created involves the Scriptures.
- I will start each day with at least seven minutes of Bible and/or devotional reading and prayer. (Feel free to increase this amount as soon as you are in the habit).
- I will meet with my spouse or roommate every week to update them on what I have been doing and on my job-search plans for the next week.
- I will select a companion with whom I can be totally honest and accountable, and meet with them weekly. (This should not be the person in point two.)
- I will set up at least one networking appointment each day and/or make a minimum of ten calls per day pertaining to my job search.
- I will attend at least one meeting pertaining to job skills per week at a local career center.
- I will spend at least two hours per week doing volunteer work, such as with a church, mission, ministry or nursing home.
- I will review and adjust my game plan on a weekly basis.
This is just a starting place. Whether you use my game plan or create your own, remember the words of Proverbs 16:3: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
This seven-day devotional is drawn from Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me: Help and Hope for Those in Career Transition by Rick J. Pritikin.