“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I really, really wanted a baked potato with my pork chops.
Not usually a challenge of epic proportions, you say?
It is if you are camping and forgot the foil.
It took a few minutes to dream up, and I needed a creative genius (AKA husband) to engineer it, but nevertheless – enter Plan B.
Step 1: Rub the potato with salt and butter. Check.
Step2: Stick the potato inside an aluminum pop can with the top cut off. (Will it fit? Barely. That was close.). Check.
Step 3: Jam another hastily sawed off aluminum can into the first can. (Won’t fit? Slice the can lengthwise in a couple places.). Check.
Step 4: Place the alien contraption in the coals for at least an hour. Check.
Step 5: Tentatively open said contraption.
Completely, delectably, perfectly cooked baked potato.
And I would never have known the delightful surprise of learning a new cooking technique if I had tossed the potato in the bush in frustration.
Sometimes, you are camping. You are relaxed. Being creative and flexible when Plan A didn’t work out is fun and interesting and feels rather adventurous. It’s easy to be thankful in those circumstances.
But under time pressure? At work? When you are tired and cranky and there is a financial loss or blow to your precious ego at stake?
Not so much.
And when you are pressed beyond endurance by pain or loss or stress and there is a lot at stake, Plan B just feels like a nightmare.
Which is why it is when we are camping and feel adventurous that we should be practicing switching to Plan B, going with the flow, not getting our panties in a knot when life refuses to rubber stamp our Plan A. The practice will help shift our attitude for when it really counts.
Because – I don’t know if you’ve noticed this? – life rarely rubber stamps our Plan A. Sometimes we need to rethink and rehash and are floundering around at somewhere nearer Plan Q by the time things work out.
I am really resistant to Plan B. Don’t even get me started on Plan C.
I like Plan A. It’s tidy. It’s simple. It’s straightforward.
But God in His wisdom knows Melody needs to practice being more flexible in her thinking. So He provides a lot of opportunities – spaces where if I let go of my own agenda and allow Him to work, good will turn into great, and mediocre into magnificent.
I’d love to be the one who sees the challenge ahead and says, “What will God do through this?” instead of the one who turns into a puddle and pouts in the broom closet.
I’m really hoping I will remember this aluminum can potato for more than a week. It tells me that there may be new ways of doing things when I can’t see a way. That a little creativity can create something delicious. That looking at what I have in new ways can provide new opportunities for growth.
Be thankful for chances to practice switching to Plan B with me?
Father, we get so set on what we want and how we want it that we forget that You have abundant resources, and love to provide us with wisdom when we ask for it. Continue to provide opportunities to practice relying on Your wisdom as we problem solve. Teach us to slow down and choose give thanks and ask for Your help before we choose to be frustrated and give up. Amen.