Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good-Bye Plan B

I don't know about you, but I'm big on having a 'Plan B.' You know, just in case 'Plan A' doesn't go quite as expected.

In some cases, having a back-up plan is a good idea. For example, life insurance. I think that's a 'Plan B' we can all agree on. Just in case 'Plan A' - staying alive for a long, long time - doesn't work out, carrying life insurance to provide for our loved ones is solid planning.

Other times, though, I find I hang onto a 'Plan B' that is more sentimental than practical. One example I can think of is from my teen years. (Please note: I do not adhere to the following policy any more.) Boyfriends used to be disposable in my life. We'd hang out for 3-4 months, then I'd find myself getting bored...or too attached...or distracted. Occasionally he'd be the one who'd move on. Either way, it was never a big worry for me. Nope. Because I had a 'Plan B.' There was always another guy - one who liked me, or who I liked, just enough to know that it wasn't a far stretch to becoming a couple. I cannot think of many guys I dated in high school that weren't my back-up plans. If I break-up with so-and-so, then I can just go out with such-and-such. I'll never need to be alone (or lonely) if I've always got a backup plan.

This morning I was reading in Kings, and it occurred to me that we often hang onto a 'Plan B' when it comes to God. We're ready to be obedient and go where He calls us, but we keep a safety net below us...just in case God lets us fall down. Maybe He's asking us to make a drastic change - like give up TV - so we do, eventually, but we keep the old televisions in the garage...just in case. Or He calls us to tithe to His Church, but we wait. Just a few months to be sure there's some money in savings first. It's too risky to give all that money away every month without having some put aside for an emergency.

I can't count how many times I've gone forward with God, but still hanging onto my backup plan.

Elisha (in Kings) sets an example I think we should all strive for. Elijah came to him and put his cloak over Elisha's shoulders - this was his way of telling Elisha God was calling him to join Elijah in his work, prophesying to the Israelites. Elisha didn't doubt, question, wait, or create backup plans. When Elijah came to him, Elisha was plowing his fields (with the help of many oxen). You know what Elisha did? "He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant." ~I Kings 19:19-21

Can you believe that? The thought of it makes me a little bit queasy! Here's what I wrote in the margin of my Bible, "Elisha didn't just go where God said, he destroyed anything that might lure him to turn back." Isn't that what we're doing when we hang onto our 'Plan B?' We're just leaving something lingering, something to tempt us to turn back as soon as things get tough. God never promised that things would be easy when we follow Him, in fact He warns us that they will be difficult (James 1:2, Philippians 3:10, and many more). But we're to persist, persevere, keep on following Him. How much easier would it be to do that if we didn't have something to go back to? If we didn't have that safety net to fall into? If the only thing that remained was HIM?!

So, the next time God calls you to do something, I challenge you to do it wholeheartedly. Drop everything, and follow. Wait - don't just drop everything - burn it all! (Figuratively.) Don't make a 'Plan B,' let nothing hold you back. Leave yourself nothing to turn back to, so that your only option is to move ahead and follow Him. I'll try it, too... We can go together, hand-in-hand with Jesus, with nothing but 'Plan A.'


  1. Wow. Very good post. We just started studying this on Wednesday night.

  2. I came by to check out your blog after you commented on mine...

    Wow. You could have written this about me...

    Thanks for the post, I'm bookmarking it to come back to later- I have a feeling I'll need to read it again!

  3. WOW. YES YES YES. This is an amazing reflection Tyler. I really loved reading it.

    I am such a planner that the mere concept of "no plan B" blows my mind...huh?

    Thanks girl!

  4. VERY well put! Isn't this the truth? It reminds me of how hard it is to have REAL faith - to really trust Him.
    Thought provoking....thanks!


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