My husband and I enjoyed a restful and restorative vacation in Florida last week. While the trip was a blessing in every sense, it also served as a gentle parable about accepting, adjusting to and enjoying “Plan B.”
The only element of our trip that qualified for “Plan B” status was that the weather did not match my hopes for sunny seventies. (I know, boo-hoo. Get over it, right? Didn’t I tell you that this is a very gentle parable?) We timed our trip for a temperature dip. Perfectly. So, instead of beaches and swimming pools (Plan A), we worked out a Plan B.
One week in Florida, a very gentle parable, reminded me of five helpful realities in light of life’s Plan B moments:
1) My desires and dreams will not magically come to me; I have to go get them (if possible).
The day after our arrival we awoke to cloudy skies and chilly temps, but thanks to modern technology we knew that there was sunshine up the coast. After a short drive to find some sun, we were walking barefoot on the beach.
Yes, it was cooler than we would have liked in Florida, but it was also much warmer than the weather we left behind in Chicago. Similarly, I can compare myself or my life circumstances to a mental ideal and come up empty, or I can fill my mind by counting blessings and thank God for a rich and abundant life.
And sometimes it is simply necessary. The photos in this post were taken at the Naples Botanical Gardens, a thoroughly enjoyable Plan B activity.
4) Sometimes “B” is for Bad.
We had no “bad” moments during our trip. In life, however, some Plan B events are devastating: illness, loss, broken relationships, divorce, unemployment. The best we can do is to face them, adjust, learn from our experiences, and move on.
5) Ultimately, “B” is for Better.
The final adjustment to our plans was an extra day in Florida due to a snowstorm in Chicago. It was the glorious day we had desired; perfect weather, lunch on the beach, flip-flops, children splashing in the surf, and walks on warm sand. It restored our souls.
The most commonly quoted Bible reference regarding plans, Jeremiah 29:11, comes in the context of a major (and very bad) “Plan B” moment for God’s people. Jerusalem had been destroyed and the Israelites were living in captivity in Babylon when God spoke the words,
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
Ultimately, God’s perfect plan prevails.
What have you learned from life’s “Plan B” moments?