Sometimes our plans are interrupted by unexpected delays. Nearly a hundred runners experienced that reality when they were trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2016. As they ran the race, a train crossed the marathon course—moving very slowly—at the seven-mile marker. Prior to race day, race officials had been given complete assurance that no train would get in the runners’ way. Yet the participants’ plans were interrupted.

Like those marathon runners who were trying their best to qualify for the Boston Marathon, believers in Jesus are called to run their best for Him (Hebrews 12:1). And yet, as Solomon reminds us, “We can make our own plans” (Proverbs 16:1). The unmistakable truth is that we have the freedom to plan. People are free to chart their courses and determine where they want to go and how to get there.

In verse 9, however, we read: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” These words lead us to submit to God’s sovereignty. He has plans too! And He’s the only one who can take goals and make them a reality. He may bless, change, or stop our plans altogether according to His perfect will.

As we strive to run the very best race we can in life, may we fix our eyes on where God is leading. For His ways may interrupt and override our own. And instead of becoming frustrated or discontent, may we leave our aspirations and dreams in His hands (Proverbs 16:3). That’s not fatalism, but submission that leads to true freedom in Him.

Let’s choose to actively bring our lives in line with His direction as we pray, “Guide [our] steps by your word” (Psalm 119:133).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Colossians 2:1-15