Takeaway: Our plans for ourselves do not always work out. God can still work in our lives for his own glory, even we do not have the answers to our why questions.
I have been meaning to read Plan B for quite a while. I recieved a copy as part of my Catalyst Experience pack earlier this year and it was put into my To Be Read pile. I knew that when the book originally came out, instead of having time to promote the book Pastor Pete Wilson was dealing with an historic flood in his hometown of Nashville. During the week that the book came out 40 families in the church and hundreds of other families in the community had significant flood damage. Cross Point Church helped clean 400 homes and mobilize more than 2000 separate volunteers during the first week after the flood.
While I think it is unlikely that he would have chosen the flood as a publicity tool, the fact that he had scraped his plans for book promotion and worked on the flood, probably ended up with more promotion than he would have had originally.
I thought the book started a bit slow. It over and over showed how people do not get what they originally wanted for themselves. Intrinsically, we all know that. As much as we make plans, we know people that did everything right, made the plans, did the work and still had things go badly.
By chapter 10 there was a turning point for me. The book became more cross focused. Wilson used the example of his kids’ love of fruit snacks. We all know that fruit snacks are a treat, not a food group. God wants for us what is healthy, not just the snack. In Exodus, God offered Moses success leading the people. But during and exchange in Exodus 33, Moses resists success if it means that he does not have God. That for me is the turning point. If we are after our plan A instead of God, then we will never be satisfied.
Later in the book Wilson quotes Mark Batterson: “I tend to live the way I drive. I want to get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time and by the easiest rout possible. But I’ve come to realize that getting where God wants me to go isn’t nearly as important as becoming who God wants me to be in the process. And God seems to be far less concerned with where I’m going than who I’m becoming.” This really is the point of the book. Wilson wants us to understand that we all feel hurt when things do not go according to plan. And we may not ever be able to explain why something happened the way it did, but God’s focus in on moving us through the process, not on the goals that we are focused on.
I am increasingly concerned that we as a Christian church are more interested in right belief than in transformation. The importance of this book is that Pete Wilson does not think that right belief will solve our problems. Only trusting in God and learning to depend on him in our weakness will really lead to transformation.
This is not a 5 steps to dealing with your problems book. Much like Anne Jackson’s Permission to Speak Freely (my review), it ends without a nice little bow. We will not always get what we want, that does not mean God does not love us. God loves us, so he will walk with us through the disappointment.
Here is the video trailer to get a good idea of the focus of the book.