“So what do you hope to be doing 5 years from now?“
That’s a common question asked by hiring managers in many job interviews, and certainly a question that I have been asked both as a candidate and as a hiring manager in interviews. Ambitious candidates often have a plan as to where they “hope” to be professionally in their chosen field.
But what if the same question was asked for your life?
Let’s face it, we all have some idea of how we would like life to turn out. But the reality is that life usually doesn’t end up looking like the picture we had in our head. We tend to get a little (or a lot) out of sorts when things don’t go as we plan.
We as humans like to make plans for our lives. I think most of us go through life expecting everything to go just as we planned it. To get that great job, find that perfect companion and get married, buy a great house and raise our 2 kids, and retire somewhere to gracefully live out our days watching our children and grandchildren. But realistically, that isn’t always how it happens. We are yet to find that perfect mate, or maybe they walked out on you because they didn’t want to be married anymore. That great job you always wanted didn’t roll the final offer to you. In an instant, all those things you have planned for go up in flames. We go through our own seasons of great difficulty – the ones we didn’t ask for and above all we didn’t expect. I, too, wondered about the answers, explanations, solutions…
But what if we didn’t need answers? What if there was something better than getting easy answers and quick fixes?
Have you ever had a plan blow up in your face? I surely have a few to count… If you know me at all, you know I am a planner. There are have been times when my plans had to be changed. So what do you do when life hands you a plan-B situation instead of a plan-A situation? In my own life recently, life has dealt me a Plan B situation. Honestly, I am still walking through a Plan B.
We can’t smooth over the wrinkles and life can be really tough and we may not understand why certain situations are occurring in our lives. There often aren’t easy answers to the Plan Bs we experience.
For everyone, situations are a little different, and no one has all the answers. Sometimes, things do not turn out as we would have hoped. And circumstances don’t turn out as we would like. All of us have Plan A. What happens when Plan A is failure? God is testing us with these catastrophes. This is where the “Plan B” comes into our life. God uses our Plan B in our lives. God will always take these situations in our lives where we have pain and struggle, and will never fail at the opportunity to show us how much he loves us. God never destroys our lives, but he does allow us to make our own decisions, even when those decisions take us farther away from God.
We often wonder where God is, why are things going so badly, and why do I continue to struggle through this pain for years and years. Too often, we want that pain to be over as quickly as possible, and we scream at God when it doesn’t happen in our timing. The fact remains that God’s timing is nothing like ours, and His timing isn’t ready for us to be out of this season in life. A tough thing to swallow, that’s for sure, but true.
The reality is that each one of us, with our carefully thought out plans, will be forced to throw the plan away and divert to a plan we never considered-Plan B. Plan B’s come in many forms, but they will come. It’s a good plan with success and happiness in the picture.
Plan B is not about rearranging your summer schedule, or not having enough time to read. It’s about dealing with changes, disappointments and heartbreaks. It’s about losses; lost jobs, lost marriage, and lost lives. It’s about lost visions and lost dreams. It’s about questioning if God is any where in our circumstances. It’s about how do we handle those times that come when life knocks us off our feet and it seems as if God isn’t right there to pick us up and make everything fine again. What do we do when things happen that we never thought would, and we are totally powerless to change those outcomes. Plan B is an honest, no frills assessment of how we react when these situations come.
The question is are our plans and God’s the same? Two answers to that question: Yes, and ofcourse, No. I ponder the question for which there is no simple answer and yet reassuring myself that it’s ok not to have an answer. I agree that it’s difficult to understand when life takes a different direction. It’s about giving up the life you think you should have versus the one that God wants for you.
I am wondering how different life would be for each one of us if we chose to view our circumstances and our relationships as the gifts they are. Change in our present situation is not needed to be at peace. Change in perception is what transforms our life.
Someone once said that life is what happens when we are planning for it. Ain’t it?? So let’s roll with it..