Friday, May 12, 2006

On to Plan B?

For those of you who don't know, one of my lifelong goals is to eventually earn a Ph.D. In fact, in my mind, I've drawn out a plan and a timeline to see this goal through.

But, what if it doesn't happen?

Someone once told me that as we draw up the plan for our lives, we should always follow the path toward our Plan A. That way, you have no other choice but to do what you've always dreamed of doing. Initially, that made sense to me. If I decided in my mind that I wanted a Ph.D.; then -- dammit -- I'm going to get myself a Ph.D.; or die trying. But, after thinking about it, I'm starting to disagree with this idea.

I think that, in life, we all need a Plan B. The reality is that dreams don't always come true. Not every basketball player makes it to the NBA. Not every aspiring actor/actress will win an Academy Award. Not every musician will sell 10 million albums and win a Grammy Award. Every professional won't land their dream job. Every friendship/marriage/relationship won't last. Every child won't succeed in school (courtesy of the No Child Left Behind Act. But, I digress...) .

Essentially, life won't always turn out like we planned.

Sometimes we drop the ball ourselves by screwing up the Plan A's in our life. Sometimes, however, things happen that are beyond our control. I mean, you've got people who do everything right and still face a Plan A that didn't work. I think that's why we need a Plan B. Plan B, as I see it, is a second chance. It allows for us to make up for whatever situation that prevented us from living out our Plan A; without holding on to the resentment and disappointment that we could carry for having to "settle" for the Plan B. If identified properly, our Plan B's can give us the peace that even our Plan A's couldn't.

In some way, I think that Plan B's can also apply to our relationship with Christ. I believe that Jesus is a Plan B type of person. Through His grace and His love for us, He restores new life in us and allows us to start all over again, even when we screw up. He sets us up so that we don't have to stay stuck in a Plan A that doesn't seem to be working. Likewise, the Plan B's that are in place can turn out so well that they make us forget about our Plan A.

Will this stop me from pursuing my Plan A? No way. But, will I embrace the possibility of a Plan B, C, D, or E? I most certainly will.

So if your Plan A isn’t working the way you'd like for it to, I think it's important to remember that Jesus' Plan B includes grace, hope, and new life. As the Bible reminds us, He wants to give us the desires of our heart; even if we don't know what they are yet.

Have a blessed weekend, folks. And, to the mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

- ACL

10 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Not a Republican said...

Who's Bobbie, Andre?

Well, I agree with you on some parts of this post. I, too, have resolvd to strive continously for plan A. My plan B, however, still helps me achieve the goal of plan A, but I would just have to take a different route. For instance, if Plan A was to gain a full scholarship to a University and you don't get it, then plan B could be to look for grants and scholarships, and loans and STILL get to college. Maybe that's what that person meant by never giving up on plan A. I DO like the way you intertwined the two plans into how Jesus works. I think that I'll be sticking around this blog after all!

By the way: You CAN keep a plan A and only a plan A if you are sure that it is the plan that GOD has given for your life. If God has spoken to you to have a PHD, then what is the need for a plan B? Will he not come through with his promises?

Andre said...

Sorry Not a Republican. One of your previous comments reminded me of someone I know. But, after thinking about it, you couldn't be her. After all, she actually IS a republican...:)

Thanks for your insight. I agree with you, to an extent. I think that sometimes we don't experience the Plan A's that God have for us until we go through our Plan A, B, C, T, or BBB. Simply put: sometimes OUR Plan B is GOD's Plan A.

Thanks for your comments.

By the way, whatever you do...don't ever become a Republican. Stay away from the dark side. But, if you can, avoid Democrats too. It seems like you have too much of a mind to subscribe to their nonsense either...

saved_sinner said...

Good morning:

"Sometimes our Plan B is God's Plan A"

I think you're absolutely right, Andre. Once we give up the visions of our wonderful life (as we've drawn it up to be) is when God reveals His true vision for us. Grace is something we seem to be so confused about all the time.

Great post! What a great way to start to day! Thank you for this word from the Lord!

Andre said...

Good morning to you, also.

I think that sometimes we make moves in our lives without considering if God has ordained our efforts or not. But it's important to remember Proverbs 20:42: [since] our steps are ordered by God, how can we understand our [own] way?

Thanks for sharing your comments!

Not A Republican said...

Hey Andre,

Nope not a democrat, either! How can one person identify themselves as one particular thing! (that's a whole other post)

Anywho, I guess I should have clarified my statement. Reading it a second time, here's what I meant: We should seek out whatever it is that God has planned for us. Once you've received your word from the Lord, there is no need for a Plan B. If you are strong in the Lord and know what he has for you, then pursue it with all your mind, heart, body (and money) and soul!!

I know many people who have had to walk blindly because the lord told them to do something, but they didn't know why (other than God said so) or how they were going to get through it. Even when times got hard, they kept their faith (based on what they had heard from the Lord) and kept pursing Plan A, which is what the Lord had spoken into thier hearts. When God saw fit, he blessed them with peace, Joy, and fulfillment. I guess that's what I mean by sticking to Plan A. Those bastketball players and actresses didn't make it for one or two reasons 1. That wasn't what God had planned for them or (2) It WAS what God planned for them, but they didn't dilligently seek it.

Okay I think I've clarified! :)

joanne said...

Wow! Another powerful post! You're starting to get too good at this. It's so easy to invest so much in my Plan A that I miss how much God can intend through the backup. I needed to hear this today. I've been dealing with a pretty troubling issue lately.

Thanks for blessing me, Andre.

Diane said...

Andre,
How about this example? Adam and Eve in the garden without sin was God's Plan A, but Satan entered in and Adam and Eve fell from grace. So Plan A was flawed and Plan B, Grace, was instituted. Where would we all be if God had stuck to Plan A regardless of the consequences and refused to consider a Plan B?

Even though WE may be doing all the right things and be in God's will, others around us may not, so we have to be constantly aware of God's will for us at any given time, as it can change with our circumstances.

I really enjoyed this one, Andre, and Thank You for the Mother's Day wishes. I hope you have a great Mother's Day with your Mom if she is still with you. God Bless..... :-)

KC said...

Nice point lenadianejennings. I think because of God's grace, I'm living out my Plan B. But without Plan A taking place, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate and recognise God's hand in Plan B.

Another great post for my soul, brotha!

Mandy said...

Loved this post, Andre. I, for one, and a big fan of planning through the alphabet. Let me fill you in on my plans:

Plan A: Get a degree in English and write the next great American Novel...

Plan B: Get a degree in psychology and become the next great American psychiatrist...

Plan C: Get a degree in teaching, and become the next great American teacher...

Let go of the English degree completely. Obtained the psychology degree, graduated, returned to school two weeks later. Now I am a teacher, still striving to be a Great teacher. I guess I always pictured my plan A as a teacher, moving towards doctorate level. After reading your post, I realize that this is actually plan C! (further in the alphabet if you count all the things I wanted to be as a kid!) I have no doubt that it is God's plan A for me.

By the way, I loved that you digressed into No Child Left Behind. We like to call it "No Teacher Left Standing..." But now I digress...

Andre said...

@ Not a Republican: The point that I've been making is that too many people dive in the pool, without first experiencing God and His will for them.

Others, however, allow for God's words to move through them and they make an effort to follow God's plans; even if it means to do so blinded by what's in front of you. When God told Abraham to get up and go, he got up and went. For his faith he was INCREDIBLY rewarded. Thanks for your insight! And, thanks, by the way, for not subcribing to the Democrat/Republican, East coast/West coast-type beef.

@ Joanne: I'm happy to hear that I've been a blessing to you; especially when you've blessed me a thousand times over. I think we make a good team.

@ Diane: As I mentioned in the post, and as you reminded me, sometimes we screw up the Plan A's. Adam and Eve had a paradise and ruined it (of course, I can't fault them. I have no doubt that -- if I were there -- I would've messed everything up too!). But, Jesus resurrects us with His grace. Pretty assuring, huh?

Happy Mother's Day to you. Although your mother is no longer physically with you, she's there.

@ KC: As I've always maintained, God's A is our B. Sometimes it takes us going through the whole alphabet to see it.

@ Mandy: Since it's clear that God has spoken to you about this, all I can do now is:

(1) Wait for the book signing when you finish that classic American novel,

(2) Sit on your office couch and let you tell me how crazy I am once you become a pyschiatrist,

(3) ...and get out of a statistics course by taking YOUR class instead.

Thank you, as always, for blessing me!