On making plans: Joseph’s story

Because I think he was a planner, I want to see Joseph’s journal. The one where he wrote out his goals for that year. You know. The year when his life went off the rails. I want to see the journal where he laid out his goals in good Dave Ramsey fashion, with his spiritual goals, family goals, business goals, financial goals, intellectual goals. social goals, and physical goals.

I can fill in some of those. He’s described as a righteous man, which would have meant living a life intentionally following God. So I’m guessing that his spiritual goal was to be obedient to God. And that goal category wasn’t one of seven equal categories. It was the first among equals. Every other part of his plan would have rested in that one commitment.

interior-new-house.JPGIt would shape the social goal for a Jewish man of the time. He would have been part of the synagogue in Nazareth, the center of networking. It was the hub of his social interactions. As a younger man, he may have set a goal to accept more responsibility in the community. Especially since he was about to take a major step on his family goal: finish building a home for Mary and then marry Mary. They were already engaged.

His business and financial goals aren’t easy for us to know. Did he want to take over the family business? Did he want to expand into surrounding villages like Cana and Nain? His intellectual goals? Certainly rooted in knowing more of the sacred writings. And physical? There’s no way to know. But it’s likely Joseph had a perfectly good life plan for that year.

I wonder whether he ever read Proverbs. I’m sure he did. I wonder if he ever paused at this one: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

This was first published in 2013. I talked about Joseph (and Advent) in my first Advent book
Anticipation: an Advent Reader.