Sometimes life doesn’t work out like you planned.
Sometimes things don’t go as you had hoped.
Sometimes you just have got to say: “It is what it is…time for Plan B”.
Well, I am in St. Louis du Nord, Haiti right now working Plan B. My trustee assistant, Alana skillfully put together my trip itinerary on short notice so I could spend a few days pouring into the leaders of our partner church and school here; three car trips and three plane rides…no biggie! Problem was the schedule was so tight there was little room for margin of error, and so the 40 minute sit on the tarmac in Miami threw a monkey wrench into the deal which caused me to arrive at plane #3 just as they closed the cabin door, and no amount of begging or bribing could get them to open it back up. So…I was faced with either waiting 24 hours in lovely downtown Port au Prince or hire a tap-tap (Haitian taxi service) and embark on a beautiful, but bone-jarring 6 to 7 hour ride by the beaches and through the mountains. Since my time here is short and my agenda full…hello tap-tap and hello jarred bones.
The important thing is I am safe, here, and work is about to commence.
And you understand this because no one gets through life without a Plan B or two. Sometimes companies downsize… sometimes spouses break their vows…sometimes kids make bad decisions…sometimes hearts break…sometimes dreams go awry…sometimes things just don’t work out like we had planned. So sometimes you just got to say: “It is what it is…time for Plan B” God often does some of his greatest work in Plan B…just ask Abraham, Joseph, Mary, Paul, Esther and just about anybody else in the Bible.
So how about a celebratory fist-pump for the Texas radio producer known as RAY!
This week while running errands and flipping stations on the radio dial I caught the news that RAY had just spent 17 and 1/4 hours setting a world record for fist-pumping…breaking the old record by a convincing 15 minutes. A record by the way that had been set just days before by a guy who had super glued his fist together to insure perfect formation. I had no idea that fist-pumping was a competitive sport and neither did I know it’s participants were dedicated enough to resort to “performance enhancing adhesives”. (But I am a bit of a dinosaur you know…still not on facebook and I just started the blogging deal.)
So while some people build orphanages, broker peace agreements, battle HIV/AIDS or rescue young girls and women abducted into the sex trade…RAY has made his mark for posterity and enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame by setting a world record for fist-pumping. “My arm hurts, but it was awesome!” he said afterwards. Awesome? Really?
Forgive me if I sound just a little bit cynical (I do have that tendency), but as far as I am concerned the people who are really doing something awesome are the un-sung Cypress Meadowers who feed the homeless and under-resourced every Saturday night or rock babies in the Cypress nursery so parents can sit in a service uninterrupted or hand out smiles and programs as people enter the Cypress auditorium or sponsor a child in our partner school in Haiti and partner orphanage in Kenya or one of any other of the dozens and dozens of responsibilities and roles it takes to be the church to a world in desperate need of God’s grace.
So how about a great big “Jersey-style” fist-pump in honor of the Cypress volunteers who are changing the world one precious life at a time.
I do wonder, though…after RAY set the record, what did he do to celebrate?
She is gentle as a dove and as brave as a lioness.
She visited me twice a day for twenty-eight straight days when I was in the hospital with rheumatic fever.
She has both my sister and I absolutely convinced that each of us is her favorite child.
She cried as hard as I did when my heart was broken.
She embodies grace and dignity. (I once caught her mowing a lawn in a dress & high heels.)
She has the map of my soul.
She infected me with an incurable passion for God…Himself.
She is Lucille Poole…my Mom. If you really want to get to know me then you need to meet Lucille. Her loving touch is indelibly finger printed all over my life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms. May you feel the smile of heaven upon your soul. And may grace bridge what is deepest in your heart for your child across the miles, the regrets and the years directly into their heart.
I’m having a rather sluggish start to my day.
Nevertheless I’m up and going and even if my progress is slow at least I’m moving forward.
Ever have those “nevertheless” times in your life?
You are negatively misrepresented or misused or mistreated…
Nevertheless you choose to forgive and refuse to become stuck in bitterness. Especially after all the forgiveness God has showered on you.
You are undervalued or under-appreciated or under-noticed…
Nevertheless you serve wholeheartedly anyway. God sees and He rewards and that will be more than enough.
You are frustrated by a lack of progress or provision or participation…
Nevertheless you hang in there and continue to offer your best because at the end of the day it’s really a deal between you and God anyway.
You get the idea…Nevertheless choose joy, choose hope, choose faithfulness, choose generosity, choose love, choose patience, choose kindness, choose beauty and choose grace.
Use the word as needed today. I know, it sounds a little funny in today’s vernacular…but nevertheless there is a lot of power in it.
Life is really just a series of decisions and choices…decisions and choices that shape your life and determine your destiny. Some big, some small but all with consequences. I once heard that sage John Ortberg say something like this on decision making:
Why doesn’t God help our decision making by doing a little sky writing or send a few postcards or e-mails or something to tell us what to do?
Maybe it’s because God’s main purpose for you…is not what you do, but who you become.
Think of it this way. If I always told my kids what to do – wear this, take that job, marry that one, go there – they might do as I say. Their circumstances might even turn out OK. But they would not grow into excellent persons. To grow into an excellent person, you have to make choices, exercise judgment, and take responsibility for yourself. So…if I want my children to become excellent people – my will for their life will often be: “You decide.”
God knew that I would grow by making decisions…and grow in ways I never would if I got heavenly postcards. God’s will is not a way of escaping the anxiety, the work and the responsibility of making decisions. So learn to be a better decision maker and you will lead a better life.