Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Plan B

"Things are inevitably going to go WRONG but what will make or break your trip is how you REACT". Ben Groundwater is the author of these words that I found in last Sunday's travel section of The Sun Herald. They are certainly true for travel. The best travel involves a sense of adventure and that sense of adventure normally involves some risk. And with risks come mistakes and inevitably the consequences of the mistakes that demand a reaction one way or another.

Some friends recently travelled to Europe and suffered a feared, but not entirely unheard of, misadventure. After 24 hours plus of travel they arrived in Germany, only to discover that their bags did not meet them at the airport. I have never experienced this sort of luggage separation anxiety, but my friends were philosophical and survived for a few days on their carry on luggage and the clothes on their backs. They were undeterred and determined to enjoy their trip. After a few more days it seemed their luggage separation was indeed permanent and after repeated phone calls to the travel insurance company and airline they were assured that their compensation was imminent. Again rather than fretting they went out and bought new clothes with their compensation, enjoying the opportunity of replacing their tired Aussie travel wardrobe with a more European flair. They enjoyed their trip, surviving this inconvenience and arrived home many weeks later, still philosophical that their new European threads compensated their momentary apparel deprival. A few days after arriving home the airline delivered their very lost but recently found luggage, which was a rather unexpected bonus.
A lot more can go wrong in travel than the loss of a couple of bags and often happy endings are only for movies, not reality.  Of course a lot more can go wrong in life than a few travel inconveniences. A very together life can unravel surprisingly quickly when misadventure strikes, often without warning. We can fool ourselves into believing that those sorts of things only happen to other people, but that deception can only last so long. We cannot avoid things going wrong and our reaction is key to surviving the uncertainty. Knowing that there is a God who loves us and knows our plight and continues to have plans and purposes for our lives, can be strangely comforting and reassuring in all manner of circumstances.
George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation, explains this uncertainty from God’s perspective. Verwer explains that God has a Plan A for our lives. The problem is that because of our mistakes and foolishness, the mistakes and foolishness of others and a whole lot of completely random things, we often end up with Plan B. And actually, quite often we end up with Plan C, or D, or E and not that rarely, Plan F. Verwer’s simple conclusion is strangely comforting: “Praise God for a big alphabet!”.
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Matthew 6: 25-28

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