I’ve said before that Hannah Brencher is one of the most amazing human beings that ever walked this planet. I’m in love with her message, and her heartbeat, and the way she weaves such simple syllables into music that sings to my soul. But mostly I love that, though we’ve never met beyond the realm of digital acquaintance, she’s like the best friend I never knew I needed, giving me what she calls “a good butt-kicking pep talk” just when I’m set to give up.
Sometimes I think about how much I want to be her. Other times I think about how I already am her, and she is me. How else could she know? How else could she manage to speak such specifics to my fears, my doubts, my hesitations? How else could she know the depths of my dreams and the intense longing I have to make the world a more beautiful place before I go?
When I stumbled into my inbox yesterday afternoon, I had to remind myself to breathe. Because she did it again: that thing where she’s writing to the whole wide world, but I’m looking between the lines and finding the words, “Yeah, I’m talking to you, Rebekah Snyder.”
“Plan B doesn’t fit you,” she wrote.
“Yup. That’s right. Said it. Meant it. Plan B is where you are standing when you decide that you are too afraid to step out there and let life smack you in the face with blessings and confetti. Plan B is the shaky, but seemingly secure, house you construct for yourself when you want to avoid risk and keep all the pieces intact. Two fun facts for the day: a) nothing worthwhile in this lifetime is fit to be controlled b) Plan B ain’t for you.”
I’d never thought of that until yesterday: how maybe Plan B is the worst possible idea I’ve ever concocted in my life because it could keep me from living Plan A.
Because I’ve thought before, like probably every person thinks, “What do I do if this all goes wrong? What’s my back-up plan?”
There is no back-up plan. There’s doing and there’s failing. And there’s the brushing dirt and debris from your skin and starting over from scratch if that’s what it takes to make your dreams happen. It’s do, or die trying. And maybe it’s not very encouraging to think about the die trying part, but, darling, I don’t think there’s ever a reason to give up on Plan A. Maybe you’ve got to tweak your methods a bit, but don’t you ever give up on the goal. It’s not worth it.
Remember the parable of the talents? You know, the story Jesus told about the three guys who were entrusted with the king’s money? The first two guys took a risk, and they were commended for it. The third guy buried his portion in order to insure it was still intact when the king returned, and he got in trouble. Why? Because talents were meant to be invested.
Sometimes I wonder what the king in the story would have done if the other guys had failed. Would he be angry with them for losing it all, or would they have been commended for trying? Had the third guy invested, but lost everything, would his ending have turned out differently? I don’t know. But I do know this:
This world is not the end.
We forget that too often. Or we know it somewhere in the back of our minds, but we haven’t let it transform the way we live. Because if we were really convinced that this life is but a blip on the scale of eternity, we wouldn’t be so afraid to live a daring life. We wouldn’t try so hard to make sure our futures are safe and comfortable and secure.
I think that shows a lack of trust on our part. I think that if God decided to give us a season of life on this earth, He wanted us to live it, and not just in our safe little comfortable existence that we call living. When God gave you a dream, He never intended for you to fall back on Plan B. He never intended for you to find ways around it because, let’s face it, it was a crazy dream, after all.
I think we all need to take a little bit of advice from Hannah Brencher and “get real clear on the things you always, always said you would fight for before you learned how easy and safe it felt to stand in your own way.”
I’ll leave you to contemplate, and hopefully write your Dear John letter to Plan B.