Someone once said that life is what happens in-between our plans. I suppose we are all in a bit of denial with this because we assume our best laid plans will go well if we just plan well. I am at heart a spontaneous guy. But I also have a penchant for over-planning sometimes. I will, for example, pack a weekend trip with too much activity, then wonder why I’m so tired afterwards.
Ideally anyway, turbo-planning can be a smart and responsible way to accomplish something, right? But it can also be harmful to people in our lives if we let our frustrations get the best of us. Been there, done that. Way too much.
Recently “life happened" to me in-between my plans, but with an unexpected result. It was during Colby and my recent anniversary weekend,. We were on our way to Portland on a Friday evening, heading to our first stop, a Piano Guys concert. After weeks of scheming and dreaming, I was glad to finally be moving down the road. Following close behind was our recently purchased vintage camp trailer, Buttercup. This was our maiden voyage. I have this thing for trying to surprise Colby with trips like this, and this time she wasn't able to guess (much of) what was coming. But a surprise was coming my way too.
A sudden bump, a muffled noise, then swerving. I instantly knew what it was - a blown out tire on the trailer. I managed to safely pull over on I-5's busy shoulder. Traffic was screaming by as my mind raced with the tasks ahead, to get this trailer, and our weekend moving again. Over the next hour and a half, I met with a cascade of unfortunate events. Jacks that were too small, not much space to work under the trailer, and the kicker that stopped me in my tracks - the spare wheel was inexplicably too small for the axle! Really.
I was exhausted and deeply frustrated. I won't mention all the details here, but we split company with ol' Buttercup, had her towed back to town while we continued north. We were late, but enjoyed most of the concert. Our friends who we met at our campsite on the second night brought us their backpacking tent to sleep in. It rained on us here and there during our epic bike ride and throughout the night, but we remained in good spirits (ok, I tried to anyway).
What I learned was this: People are always more important than our plans. At one point Colby pulled me aside and told me what a great weekend it was. Not because, she said, of my big time plans, but because we worked well together to get through our challenges. Yes, she and the Lord are so good for me.
We trusted God to help us through. We kept our sense of humor and we made the best of it. We laughed and ate and played with great friends. And we refused to lose focus on what was important.
I hadn't planned on it, but lesson learned.