“The great Scots poet Robert Burns famously wrote: ‘The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley’. Meaning: even our finest plans can be disrupted. An old Jewish saying puts it more succinctly: ‘We plan; God laughs’.

Of course, there’s exaggeration in such lines. Good preparation is a virtue. In Luke 14:28, Jesus advises budgeting well for the construction of a tower if the tower is to get built. He himself had a clear mission which was fulfilled in his death and resurrection. If ever there was a grand plan, his charge to make disciples of all nations was surely that plan (Matt. 28:16-20).

We at Moorlands have a five-year Strategic Plan – and rightly so. Yet even as we plan, we need humility. In a fallen world, our best intentions can be challenged – by our own or others’ failings, or simply by events we can’t foresee.

As I write, it seems the Government’s plans to lift Covid restrictions will once more be deferred. At College, our own planning around the pandemic has often needed adjusting as new Guidance has emerged. Through it all, however, we’ve been reminded that faithfulness to God is more precious than any human plan or scheme.

As Jesus stressed, only the Father knows in detail how the future will unfold (Mark 13:32). So, we continue to plan and work for the best possible outcomes. But it’s even more crucial that we trust and hope in God.”

David Hilborn, Principal of Moorlands College