Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10
Saul had no idea what was ahead- he was focused on his own plan for his life. His plan A.
Craig Barnes, a Presbyterian Pastor and professor, writes, “The real mark of leadership is not having the right ideas, but knowing how to recognize what the Holy Spirit is doing. And what the Spirit is not doing. Usually, we discover the second thing first. But the greatest failure in leadership is, after discerning that you have been wrong about a particular idea, giving up. The failure of Plan A is always, and only, and invitation to look for the Spirit in the next idea.”
Why do so many of us stick with our Plan As? Sometimes it is because we are too much in love with our Plan As to focus on anything else. We are wearing blinders.
Other times it’s because we don’t have a clue what God is saying- either we don’t know how to listen or we’ve turned the background noise up too high. And reality is, even when we aren’t sure, we still have to plow ahead. The church still needs to move forward. You have to make decisions in your life, even when you aren’t sure what direction God is illuminating. And so we do the best we can, and then in retrospect we can learn about God’s will and our choices. God loves the retrospect- the ways in which we looking back and where we made God choices or me choices, and from those choices learn, and get back to the Plan B life God has for all of us.
Anne Lamott writes that the opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty, “Certainty is missing the point entirely (Plan B, page 257).” Finding the plan B life God has for you, for us, is about letting go of certainty. About holding onto your hopes and expectations for your life, for our life together, loosely, leaving room for God to work. About looking back with humility, to see where you could have made faithful choices, and learning from those times.
Coming to faith can happen through many ways, one of the most important is through realizing that Plan Bs aren’t mistakes, they are steams of light given by God, waiting to be seen by human eyes.
It’s a lesson Saul is about to learn.
So. What are you thinking about?