After watching the news for the last few weeks, I think possibly more than ever, this book came out at exactly the right time. As I watch oil creep towards the beaches in the Gulf of Mexico, and as the flood waters recede from Nashville, I think many people are seeing their "Plan A" going down the drain and are wondering what to do, and I think this book really lives up to it's title when addressing our Plan B.
Pete has done a fantastic job with this book. I think most of us go through life expecting everything to go just as we planned it. To get that great job, find that perfect companion and get married, buy a great house and raise our 2.5 kids, and retire somewhere to gracefully live out our days watching our children and grandchildren. But realistically, that isn't always how it happens. You've yet to find that perfect mate, or maybe they walked out on you because they didn't want to be married anymore. That great job you had laid you off last year and you haven't been able to find steady work since. Maybe you've had kids, and one of them develops cancer, or they take a wrong turn and end up in jail. In an instant, all those things you've planned for go up in flames.
Pete doesn't pull any punches in his book, nor does he admit he has all the answers. I think that's one of the great things about the book. For everyone, our situations are a little different, and no one has all the answers, and Pete explains how to work through Plan B in our lives, but admits that he's walking the same path as the rest of us. I love the illustrations and stories that he uses throughout the book to illustrate different aspects of our lives and how we can learn to accept things when they don't work out the way we intended them.
I really enjoy the part where Pete talks about idols, and how Plan A in our lives for pretty much all of us turns into an idol.
Not many of us walk around saying, "I worship my stuff. I worship my job. I worship this pleasure. I worship her. I worship my body. I worship my dream.> But the trail never lies. In the end our worship, our idolatry, is more about what we do than what we say. And I think for those of us in the midst of a Plan B we'll discover that one of our idols all along has been a picture of the way life should be. Our idol was an expectation or a dream.
I have never thought about that before, and I think it's very true, at least in my life. Pete also talks about how God uses our Plan B in our lives. God will always take these situations in our lives where we have pain and struggle, and will never fail at the opportunity to show us how much he loves us. God never destroys our lives, but he does allow us to make our own decisions, even when those decisions take us farther away from God.
Pete also discusses our timing versus God's timing, especially in a Plan B situation. As Pete says, we often wonder where God is, why are things going so badly, and why do I continue to struggle through this pain for years and years. Too often, we want that pain to be over as quickly as possible, and we scream at God when it doesn't happen in our timing. Pete talks about the fact that God's timing is nothing like ours, and if there is a reason the pain is allowed to go on, maybe God is working in your life and his timing isn't ready for you to be out of this season in life. A tough thing to swallow, that's for sure, but very true.
I especially liked the illustration Pete used that explains why, when we're in a painful situation, we think God isn't there. In all reality, maybe we've pulled away from God, and he's been right here all along, just waiting on us to come back to him. He's never left us. This was something I've never really considered, and too many times I've asked God where he was, why wasn't he fixing this, why weren't my plans coming true. When in all reality, maybe I've been the one running from God and he's never left me, but instead, I've tried to leave him.
This book was absolutely fantastic, and I would highly recommend everyone pick this up. Even if you don't read it right now, or things are going according to your plan for life; sooner or later, you're going to run into a Plan B, and I think this book is an excellent instruction manual to help you deal with and makes it through those situations in your life. Pete has done a fantastic job with this book, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book that he writes.