by Conrad Martin, Director of Finance
So how has your Plan A for the year 2020 turned out? We probably all had great plans for 2020 in January, ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, I heard a sermon on Acts 27, where Paul is on his way to Rome via ship when they encountered bad weather. Paul warned the ship’s crew that they would be better off waiting for better traveling weather. The crew ignored Paul and set sail anyway, right into a hurricane. Paul was forced to implement a Plan B which eventually saved the lives of 276 crew and passengers.
I started to think about other Plan B’s in the Bible. There are many biblical stories of people who needed to follow Plan B. Sometimes they rejected Plan A, while other times they were forced to choose Plan B by someone else or by mere circumstances. Regardless, these stories show us how God still uses alternatives to further God’s work.
Here are a few examples:
- David was not originally supposed to be the king over Israel, but King Saul chose to reject God. God brought Plan B, David, a man after God’s own heart.
- Jonah’s travels to Ninevah could have gone a lot smoother, had he followed God’s Plan A. God used Plan B to get Jonah to Ninevah, but it wasn’t easy. (It did perhaps make for a more interesting story, however, as many Plan B’s are.)
I reflected back on my own life and the many Plan B’s that got me to where I am today. Coming out of high school, I had a Plan A for my life: marriage, children, career. God had a different plan, one that worked better being single. I spent more than a decade in ministries in Tanzania and Bangladesh with God’s Plan B.
One of my assignments with Mennonite Economic Development Associates in Tanzania was to replicate their model of micro-financing across the country. One week into my assignment, a major fraud was discovered in a field office. I spent the next four years on Plan B, working to resurrect that project.
When I first came to work for the Conference, I was told that they had originally planned to hire someone else. When that plan fell through, my resume just happened to be sitting on the desk of the conference executive at the time. I became Plan B, and God is still using me in that role.
We learn in Genesis that humankind initially lived in the Garden of Eden. I can only assume that it was meant to be forever. But that plan didn’t turn out well, as humankind chose another way. In response to human rebellion and sin, God embarked on a mission to rescue creation that culminated in Jesus.
How has God used you in the Plan B’s of your life?