Failing to plan = planning to fail

By Dave Henning / September 29, 2020

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.  But when we trust our plans more than we trust God, our plans can keep us from pursuing Him and His will.  And sometimes our plans have to fail in order for God’s plans to succeed. . . .  But there’s life after failure.  The door of the cage swings open and the Wild Goose calls you to a life of new adventure.”- Mark Batterson

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”- John Chancellor

In Chapter 6 (“Sometimes It Takes a Shipwreck: Coming Out of the Cage of Failure”) of Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson observes that when we handle failure improperly, most likely the results devastate us.  But, when we handle failure properly, we find that it’s the best thing that could happen to us.  Because we make an all-important discovery.  That even when we fall flat on our faces, God’s right there to pick us up again.

Toward the end of his missionary career, the apostle Paul shipwrecked off the coast of Malta while enroute to Rome.  Paul was headed to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.  As the party reached shore, Paul gathered sticks for a fire.  As he did so, the heat of the fire drove out a poisonous snake that bit Paul on the hand.  But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and escaped unscathed.

Yet, God turned what seemed like Paul’s bad luck into a big break.  For Paul met Publius, the chief official on Malta.  Furthermore, Paul laid hands on Publius’ father and healed him.  Thus, it took a shipwreck and a snakebite to strategically position Paul on Malta – a divine detour.

In conclusion, Pastor Batterson likens divine detours to closed doors:

“Sometimes a closed door is the very thing that gets us where God wants us to go.  I’ve come to think of closed doors as divine detours.  And while our failed plans can be incredibly discouraging and disorienting, God often uses the things that seem to be taking us off course to keep us on His course.”

Today’s question: Do you agree with the author that failing to plan = planning to fail?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Seeking God with a raw intensity”

About the author

Dave Henning

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