When a Plan Doesn’t Come Together

middle fork lakeIn the 80s there was a TV show called, The A-Team. The leader of the A-Team was a guy named Hannibal. His tag line was, “I love it when a plan comes together.” I agree. But every now and then, the plan falls completely apart and the wheels fall off the cart and there is so much mayhem that it begins to be comical.

This was the nature of the Guys Only Camping Trip we attempted last weekend. Twelve guys, all the men from our family, (yes our own version of the Dirty Dozen) made a quick trip to Middle Fork Lake in New Mexico. Almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. There were problems with almost every aspect of the trip. We had schedule slip ups, transportation issues, trailer hitch tribulations, fire starting struggles, smoke situations, tent location dilemmas, terrain terrors, four wheeler foibles, navigational negatives and one fuel fiasco. The plan never came together. 

At the same time, you’ve never seen a group of guys work so hard to make a thing work when the thing just didn’t want to. The guys in our family helped one another, cheered and complimented each other. When there was conflict, they apologized to each other. The trip may not have worked as we planned, but what we hoped might come out of the trip fought through and made itself known in the hearts of the men despite the problems. 

I’m not one of those folks who thinks that unless a thing happens without a hitch, God was somehow not in favor of it. Life happens. We make plans, sometimes they come together and work great, and sometimes, nothing works right. That’s life! But we don’t stop trying and dreaming and planning. We try harder, dream bigger and plan better. We don’t withdraw or retreat in the face of adversity; we make wise choices and strategic decisions in order to do better next time. 

New Mexico may be safe from an assault by the Dirty Dozen any time soon. But you can mark this down somewhere if you like. We will not be deterred from being a band of brothers who care for each other, who can accomplish together what alone we couldn’t, who will work together with a common objective and who will accomplish what we set out to do. I hope all of you have such a family. I’m glad to be one of the team – even when the plan doesn’t come together.

telemicus out

2 Responses to When a Plan Doesn’t Come Together

  1. Tim Pinon says:

    This reminds me of something that Gary Smalley says. He strongly recommends families go camping together precisely because the odds are high that something will go wrong, sometimes in big ways, and this is what creates a lasting memory that families look back on and laugh about. It’s a shared challenge/frustration which is not pleasant at the time, but yet brings everyone closer together and is remembered long after the challenge passes. I’ll have to tell you about our trip to NM last month and we can see which one of us fared worse! I have to go back sometime this month to get our car, if that tells you anything. (let’s just say there’s one less in the NM elk population than there was before we arrived.) :-)

    I especially like your comment about the fact that just because everything doesn’t go well doesn’t mean God’s not on board with your plans. Reminds me of the struggles Nehemiah had in building the wall; one could have assumed early on that it wasn’t meant to be, but I think it’s clear that God approved of his plans and helped him to persevere and succeed.

  2. cindy smith says:

    I love the sound of this piece. It is warm and speaks so kindly and well of your brothers. I am pleased about your attitude about the trip. My boys all said similar things… but none as well as you have. Your writing is clearly getting better. I am proud of you my brother and friend. ~*

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