Friday, September 26, 2014

Backup Plan

Driving alone is a great time for me to think. I set off yesterday to drive to my class at Belmont University. As I started out, my thoughts turned to the fact that we haven't purchased a replacement car yet. I began to wonder what we would do if something happened to the truck. What was our backup plan? My mind spun into a lot of different mini-worries, just like always happens. And then I put the thought away.

Not a full minute later, it happened. I was sitting at an intersection, waiting to turn right. BAM! The woman behind me hit me. I got out of the truck and walked to the back, really irritated but trying not to look too menacing to an older woman. I looked at the back of the truck, looked at the bumper, and saw what had happened. She had knocked some dirt off of the chrome. Not much else. (Later I did see that it looks a little wonky but not much.)

We both got back in our vehicles and I went on my way. As I drove on to class, I stewed a little about the woman’s inattention and how thankful I was that it was only a low-speed bump. My “backup plan” thoughts drifted back into my head. Wow, something could have really happened and what would we have done? But my thoughts were different than before. God has the backup plan. If something had happened to the truck, we would have dealt with it and moved on. A peaceful feeling and a convicting feeling both came over me. Do I trust Him to handle whatever comes?

I thought about Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21. The man had a very productive farming season and thought: “I’ll build bigger barns to store all this abundance. Then I will be set for many years. I can rely on this to enjoy myself for years to come.” But God told the man that he would die that very night. The wealth he had accumulated would benefit someone else.

Jesus’ parable warns of storing up earthly treasures and ignoring the spiritual treasures that God provides. How does that relate to my own thoughts? I was thinking of how I could secure my own future rather than thinking about what God wants me to do. And trusting Him for that future.

This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want us to have a savings account or plan for emergencies. We do need to care for ourselves and our families. But I should not get so caught up in preparing backup plans for every contingency that I forget God. I must be reckless in my obedience and trust and faith in Him.

I find it interesting that the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12 is followed by Jesus’ teaching on anxiety.
Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. (Luke 12:29-31)

Will we get a replacement car? Of course. But it will be when our lives change so that it is needed. And not because I need to orchestrate backup plans to deal with the future. God has all that in His hands; I just need to rest in Him.

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