Monday, November 3, 2008

There's No Plan B?!?!!

I think one characteristic which all people share is the desire for options. Do you know what I mean? I don't mean 10,000 choices of cereal...though if you live in the U.S., that is certainly available to you. I mean knowing that if Plan A doesn't work, that Plan B is an option. And maybe plan C, D, F, G, and H, if necessary. We want to know that we aren't trapped, and that if this whole thing falls apart, we're still gonna be okay.

We feel this way in the small things ("If Wal-mart doesn't have this, then Target will.") and in big things ("If I lose this job, then I could always go work for company x."). We even--unfortunately--feel this way about relationships: If my church/friend/spouse doesn't work out, I could always find another... I believe this is even the reason that suicide is an option for people. It is Plan Z, but, "If plans A-Y don't work, there's always Z..."

But it strikes me that God isn't a Plan B kinda guy. In fact, there's only ever been one plan, unfolding in perfection since before time began. God never shifts (theological term for God never changing: immutable). He doesn't hold that extra card in his back pocket, just in case... His plan plows through difficulty, beauty, righteousness, and unrighteousness, accomplishing His purpose without delay or fail.

Our plans tend to move along just fine when things are going smoothly, but tend to look for a detour when the roads become rough. But the God of the universe who calls us His own also asks us to live as He does: one plan, one Body, one Spirit, one Hope, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism... Think I'm going over the top? Check me:
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. --Ephesians 4:3-6, NIV

You know, the last verse of this passage tells us why "One" is so important: Because there is only ONE God. His very nature is unity, singularity. He doesn't need to vary and variance doesn't fit his character. God designed the plan (sovereignty), knows the plan (omniscience), has the power to work the plan (omnipotence), is everywhere working out His plan (omnipresence).

So, if God is working His Plan A, and there is no plan B...And if we know the God of Plan A...why is it so hard for us to simply stick to the plan? Perhaps it's because we didn't design the plan; we don't know the plan in full; we don't have the power to enact all the plans we would wish. And we are stuck in the spot where we are, impotent to make really radical changes/decisions in general.

This is why we are called to walk by faith. This is what it means to walk by faith. And when we walk by faith, we are agreeing to honor the one-plan system that God has put into place. We are agreeing to Plan A. This is part of what marriage is designed to demonstrate. "Until death do us part..." No Plan B. Through thick, thin, and thinner still. This covenant is designed to help us know and show the God of Plan A, in all the beauty of His holiness.

A story is told of the Spanish explorer Cortez, who, upon finding the New World embarked on exploration of it. However the going was tough, and his troops began to discuss Plan B, taking the ships and returning to the Old World. But Cortez understood the principle of being a one-plan man...and promptly burned their ships. There would be no retreat; the job must be done.

So it is in this life. I have chosen to align myself with the God of Plan A. There is no retreat. There is no detour. And...there is no need to fear. For the God of Plan A IS working out His plan, with the detail and skill only the creator of the universe could display. And the end? Well, he's told us the end:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. --Revelation 22:1-5, NIV

Stickin' with Plan A,

(c) 2008


joyce said...

It is wonderful knowing how it all ends!

Beth said...

very cool thoughts J!

t said...

For a minute I thought you were about to go into the whole triangle concept we discussed Sunday... :)

Rachel said...

you are so insightful. I really think you should do something with these