When Even Plan B Goes Awry…
By Michelle Schonken
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will council you with My eye upon you.”
– Psalm 32:8 (NASB)
I am one of those people who loves making plans. I like planning my days, filling out planners, schedules, and calendars. Not only do I make a plan A, B, and C, I also make a plan D just to be “safe.” Overkill? Absolutely. I also like making plans in a broader way. I plan out goals and dreams that I want to achieve. But, here is what I’ve learned over the years about myself, planning, and God’s say in matters.
He is a better planner than I am.
His plans always work out. They are always best for everyone in the long run (even when we can’t see that far ahead). His plans develop, grow, and shape us. His plans are better and more intricate than anything we could come up with.
But, I really, really like making plans! This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Planning ahead makes us more organized, more productive, and typically prevents inconveniences. The determining factor of whether or not your love of planning is healthy or not is this: what do you do when God’s plans supersede yours?
It is bound to happen! The all-knowing Coordinator of the universe has a way of bringing unexpected events and circumstances across your path. These are unavoidable, unplanned for, and many time inconvenient interruptions in your picture-perfect plan. A talkative neighbor drops by just as you are leaving for the store; your mom suddenly needs your help doing laundry when you wanted to hang out with friends; traffic makes you late for work; etc.
One response is to become annoyed or frustrated and try to get back on track with your own plan as soon as humanly possible. Your perfect plan is calling! A different response is to see these interruptions for what they are – moments planned by God. These moments are forks in the road, and if you take just a second to ask God what He would like you to do, you will find that He has a better path than yours mapped out for you.
You might find out that the neighbor that is so talkative is really lonely. You might find that your mom has been overwhelmed and having help would be such a relief to her. You could be avoiding a catastrophe by being delayed in traffic. You could possibly be the only bright light in a difficult world that a person sees that day. You never know… But God does.
We can make plans, but we have to be able to let go of them and follow God’s leading when unexpected moments come. We have this idea that we can plan out our options and decisions along the roadways of life that will then make our lives stress free and convenient. But, can we really know what today brings, let alone tomorrow? Sometimes if feels as if we are riding a roller coaster backwards – one where there are forks in the tracks and the way you lean determines which fork you go down. (Terrifying analogy – I know). You never would be able to really know what is going to happen next. But, by listening to His guidance and instruction, we can be ready to lean into the right turns when they come along and hold on tight to Him during the sudden drops. He knows what is ahead.
When your plan for the day doesn’t work out, and even your plan B goes awry, take a moment to remember that God might have something else in mind for you today. Remember that, if you pay attention, He will “…instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go…” (Ps. 32:8, NASB). We just have to pay attention. Once you let go of your own plans you will be amazed by the things God has planned out instead.