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When 'Plan A' Doesn't Work Out

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When 'Plan A' Doesn't Work Out Empty When 'Plan A' Doesn't Work Out

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Apr 2012, 8:08 pm

When 'Plan A' Doesn't Work Out
Ben Adams

A few months ago I was blessed to be able to take an all-expenses- paid trip
to Arizona for insurance training. I love to travel and especially love
flying
across the country. I always ask for a window seat and never cease to be
amazed at God's handiwork of creation. Upon arrival at the hotel I was happy
to
find that there were no scheduled activities until the next morning. I
immediately missed my family back home and dealt with the feelings of guilt
knowing
my sweet wife was at home tending to the daily duties of raising our four
girls. Nothing to do, though, but maximize every moment, knowing the trip
would
be over in the blink of an eye.

I had packed my running clothes assuming there would be a fitness room at
the hotel; however, I received even better news from the desk clerk who
informed
me that there was a beautiful greenway within walking distance. After
several hours of flying I was ready to run! I jotted down the directions and
quickly
changed clothes. It was a further walk to reach the greenway than I had been
told, so no stretching was necessary. The late afternoon sun warmed my back
as I began. The sky was the color blue you only see in story books. The
trail meandered through a golf course community with lush green fairways on
my
left and small condo type homes on my right. Everyone had underground
sprinkler systems and I would purposefully catch a fine mist every chance I
got.

After a couple of miles I noticed that the trail curled down a hill and led
into a short tunnel to prevent pedestrians from having to cross a busy
thoroughfare.
I made my way through the few hundred feet of tunnel and emerged on the
other side only to stop dead in my tracks. I almost felt my jaw hit the
ground
as I stared at one of the prettiest sights I had ever seen. There was a long
narrow lake directly in front of me that almost appeared to be a water
runway
with houses on both sides. Directly ahead of me beaming in the warm rays of
sunlight were rows and rows of gorgeous Arizona mini-mountains called mesas.
They were so crisp and clear it was as if I was viewing them in high
definition. How odd that they were so far away yet I had the sensation of
almost being
able to reach out and touch one. I stood for several minutes and thanked God
for allowing me to be there at that moment so my brain could capture a
snapshot
that will forever be in my mental scrapbook.

The next two days were spent sitting in classrooms listening to speakers
discuss exciting topics such as federal tax brackets and stretch IRAs for
grandchildren.
There were more than a few times when I daydreamed out the window thinking
about those majestic mesas. I just had to find time to see them again before
leaving.

On the final night we had a couple of hours of free time before leaving on
buses for dinner. I zipped to my room and threw on the running clothes. The
excitement
was building as I hit the greenway. Clouds had begun to roll in as rain was
expected later that evening. I made my way through now more familiar
surroundings
and could feel my heart thumping as I charged through the tunnel.

I burst through the other side and stopped dead in my tracks again, but this
time for a totally different reason. The clouds were coming from the
direction
of the mesas and had completely covered them! If it had been my first run I
would have never known anything was out there. Just as quickly as I became
deflated I began laughing out loud. My eyes were drawn across the lake to
one lone boat that had not been there on my prior run. It was docked and the
name of the vessel was written in big bold letters on the back: PLAN B. How
could I not laugh at God's incredible sense of humor?

I just began walking and said, "OK, God, I guess you have something better
for me to see." I knew my free time was winding down so began running back
the
way I had come. As I was about to exit the greenway I clearly saw Plan B! It
was even more beautiful than the previous experience. The rain clouds were
now dominating the sky at this point, but there was one stretch of sky where
the sun was actually splitting the clouds in half. You could see all the way
through to the blue. It was a narrow gap, but it was as if the sun were
acting as a giant "connect-the- dot" between heaven and earth. There was a
bench
nearby and I just sat and stared at this incredible piece of scenery. The
clouds eventually closed and the sprinkles began to fall as I pondered the
days'
events on the greenway.

God immediately began bringing to my mind numerous times of when I had done
all of my own planning for my life. Countless memories flooded in from
childhood
through adulthood of times when my Plan A didn't work out. Sad to say, many
of those memories showed that I didn't respond with laughter and trust in a
God who always has a Plan B ready and waiting. Many times I got angry and
refused to accept it at all. If I couldn't have it my way then I wanted no
way!

The one memory that kept repeating revolved around the birth of our third
daughter. We had already had two successful pregnancies producing two sweet
healthy
baby girls. No. 3 was on the way and we were thrilled. Heart problems
developed. Later she was born with one weak kidney, requiring three
surgeries before
age 1.

Thinking we were out of the woods only led us to the realization that she
was not developing even close to the same level as other kids her age. After
years
of the vague diagnosis of developmental delay, we were finally given the
label of intellectual delay. Any parent would be lying if they said they
didn't
secretly have their own dreams for their kids. Each parent deals with the
disappointment of the loss of those dreams realizing that Plan A is no
longer
a possibility.

It has taken time, but now that my sweet Caroline is 10 years old I have not
only allowed Plan A to fall by the wayside, but also I have found myself
embracing
Plan B because I know that God is the Giver of all good gifts. My trust is
in Him. As I looked back over all of the Plan Bs that God have given me I
realized
that they were so much more beautiful than my Plan As. I realized that God
could not make me into the husband and father that I am today without
operating
in the realm of Plan Bs.

I may be a slow learner when it comes to the things God wants to teach me,
but I am so thankful that I have learned to simply take a deep breath when
things
don't go my way knowing that somewhere out there is a little boat docked in
an Arizona lake with the big bold letters on the back: PLAN B.
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