Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.
—Proverbs 16:3

While you are in an intermission in life, it is essential to develop what I call a “second-act script” so that when God signals your intermission is over, you have a plan for a new beginning. Obviously, any of our plans can be overridden by God. Nevertheless, the reality of God’s sovereignty does not negate the importance of developing plans.

Take a few hours during your intermission and prepare your second-act script, using this four-part outline. Your plan should include the following:

  1. Clarification of the problem. Using a phrase or single word, describe the failure from which you are attempting to recover. It might be “divorce,” “addiction,” “termination,” or “financial failure.”
  2. Visualization of the goal. Describe what you want to happen to resolve this problem. For example, “I would like to have a job that is rewarding and secure.”
  3. Identification of barriers. What obstacles are keeping you from your stated goal? For example, if you desire a satisfying and secure job, you might identify barriers such as limited contacts or lack of educational requirements.
  4. Specification of action steps. Develop specific action steps to remove these barriers. For example, if a limited number of contacts is a problem, your to-do list might include having lunch with someone in your preferred vocational field who could provide additional names or attending a seminar to expand your network.

How can you know when your “intermission” is truly over? God often uses changes in our lives to indicate when our intermission is over and we are ready to begin our second act. Specifically, you should be attentive to changes in:

  • Your attitude. Have you quit blaming others for your failure? Only when you accept your responsibility for your mistakes can you learn from those failures and have a successful second act.
  • Your emotions. Are you still emotionally and physically exhausted from the fallout from your failure, or are you starting to feel refreshed?
  • Your circumstances. Have you been invited to dinner with someone you are interested in, received a call from a job recruiter about a position that appeals to you, or experienced your youngest child leaving home? Often God uses a change in our circumstances to signal that we are ready to begin a new chapter in our life story.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know How to Start Over When I’ve Blown It?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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