I have a part-time job teaching English online to non-native English speakers.
My company connects me with students who want to learn English or want to improve their English skills.
I work on a platform that enables my students and me to see and speak with each other in real time.
During our lessons, I didn’t want my online students to be distracted by the bookshelves and cluttered tabletops of my home office. Therefore, with Dan’s help, I constructed a backdrop.
Now, my students see only me in front of this flowery board.
I showed it to a friend, who said she thought it was attractive.
“Well, it’s my Plan F backdrop,” I said.
She understood what I meant.
“I know all about Plan F,” she said. “It’s where I live much of my life.”
Isn’t it the truth?
No one starts with Plan F, of course. We all start with Plan A, the one we hope will work because we consider it to be the best plan.
When Plan A fails, as it usually does, we move to Plan B. When Plan B fails, we move to Plan C, and so on.
Plan F is where I stopped working on my backdrop because, though it was not as good as Plan A, it was acceptable. Had it not been, I would have moved on to Plan G or decided my students could tolerate looking at my messy office background.
I have been fortunate in my life. Some of my Plan A’s have succeeded. My husband and I just celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary.
Many of my Plan A’s, however, have failed.
The recipe was a flop. Rabbits ate my first crop of lettuce. Editors rejected my submitted manuscript. My printer ink cartridge wouldn’t slide into place on my first three tries to insert it.
The Bible is full of examples of people who lived in the land of Plan F.
I think first of the woman Jesus met at a well in Samaria.
[Jesus] told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
The Samaritan woman was living with Plan F.
King David slept with the wife of a soldier who was away fighting the king’s battle. The woman became pregnant.
David was in trouble.
Plan A: David brought the man home for a break from military life, thinking the man would sleep with his wife. The baby the woman carried would then be thought to be her husband’s child.
But the man didn’t visit his wife during his furlough.
Plan B: David gave instructions for the man to be put at the front of the battle line so he would be killed. Then David would marry his widow and pass off the pregnancy as a legitimate one.
Plans C-D-E, etc.: Dealing with guilt. Experiencing the condemnation of a prophet. Suffering the death of a child. Moving to repentance.
Other Bible characters didn’t succeed with Plan A: Jacob, Moses, Naomi, Elijah, and the Apostle Paul, for examples.
But all those people moved forward and found success, redemption, or new passions with Plan B or C or D or . . . Z, or Plan A2, B2, C2.
Life is hard. Everyone has missed the mark on a first try.
Aren’t we blessed that our God is not a scorekeeper?
His children don’t receive demerits when they move from Plan A to Plan B.
They don’t become second-class citizens in His kingdom because of do-overs.
They don’t receive a grade of F when they move to Plan F.
In the game of life, we all strike out, miss the basket, jump the gun, step out of bounds, and commit fouls, but our Coach cheers us on.
He doesn’t give up on us.
It was to redeem us from our failure at Plan A that Jesus came to earth in the first place.