God’s Plan > Your Plan

Walter M. Kimbrough
4 min readJan 1, 2024

My wife sent a note to her Sunday School class and shared with me as well. 2023 was my year to practice patience. For the first five months I was finishing up my time as the interim executive director of the Morehouse Black Men’s Research Institute.

President Thomas, Roland Martin, and the BMRI ambassadors

It was a great year at Morehouse, and I learned a lot. In fact, it was inspiring to be on that campus with so many highly driven Black men.

With commencement speaker Gov. Wes Moore

But since June I’ve been on a patience journey. I’ve been in searches where I dropped out because it didn’t feel right (which at times I reflect and think that’s crazy when you don’t have a full-time job). And there were several times I was a finalist and didn’t get the job, which was a reality check because in the end you can be the most qualified but not what those selecting want.

I even turned down an interim job thinking I was going to get one of the permanent jobs!

Oh well.

So between national committee assignments, webinars, doing interviews, being part of a documentary, and speaking, along with spending all summer as a full time AAU dad and team photographer, I was practicing patience.

But it is 2024 now and time for my intermission to end. Patience is still important though because there are still too many people taking jobs that are a bad fit, and they end badly. This is one reason why college presidential tenures are declining every year- way too many people taking jobs they have no business taking.

So, if 2024 comes and goes and I am still in intermission, that’s fine. Because God’s plan > My plan.

But I think it’s about time…

Here is her note:

Happy New Year’s Eve, Eve-

Have you ever had a plan or a dream that did not work out the way you planned? Or maybe it didn’t work out when you hoped? Or maybe it just didn’t work out at all? The relationship that never was. The job that never came. The unexpected loss. The heartwrenching setback. The opportunity that seemed too little and too late. Sometimes, things just don’t go according to our plans.

As a young, newly married couple, Zechariah and his wife (Elizabeth) had plans too. They planned to have children. But the children never came. They prayed and waited and waited and prayed. Weeks turned to months and months turned to years. And then years to decades. Still nothing.

Zechariah’s plan was to simply have a child, but God’s plan was much bigger. Not just for Zechariah to have a child, but to have a child who would pave the way for the long-awaited Messiah who would save them all. In this week’s scripture, we find Zechariah’s song of praise after he discovers that God’s plan was so much more than he could imagine with his limited view. Even though things did not unfold as Zechariah had hoped, the reality was far greater than he could have ever imagined or planned.

In 2024, I pray that God will surprise you and will exceed your plans and expectations… above and beyond anything you could hope for or imagine.

Title: From Silence to Praise
Scripture: Luke 1:67–80
Purpose: To discover how the Holy Spirit brings repentance and peace through us.



Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.