When Plans Don’t Work Out

Last year Ron and I traveled to the Grand Canyon with 5 other people through a ministry called Going the Distance Adventure Ministries. You must know, the trip was an unspoken bucket list item checked off. We hiked the 12 mile round trip Bright Angel Trail out to the Plateau Point. It was a beautiful, slightly challenging hike that thrilled my adventure seeking heart.

Grand Canyon GTD Sept. 2012 896

Grand Canyon GTD Sept. 2012 407

Grand Canyon GTD Sept. 2012 703

Grand Canyon GTD Sept. 2012 1201

But that is only part of the story.

Three men from our team hiked the 25 mile Rim to Rim hike…in one day. I really wanted to attempt this hike, but was slightly discouraged by the sincere questions of people as to whether I was up for the challenge. I decided that I should start with the “easier’ hike first.

The taste  of the Rim to Rim hike has been ever on my mind for 11 months now. I began working-out harder almost immediately after our return last October and even started CrossFit Workouts of the Day between 4-6 months ago. Additionally, the StairMaster plus a 15 lb. kettle bell and I have become friends. I use the term friend loosely here.

Imagine my dismay and utter disappointment when the Government Shutdown earlier this week included the shut down of all the national parks. That meant my Rim to Rim hike with GTD would have to be routed to hikes outside of the Grand Canyon.

Don’t get me wrong, the revenue loss alone is a reason to be upset about the closing of all national parks. However, consider the individual stories that are being rewritten as a result of this standoff. Wedding cancellations, war veterans meeting up with their comrades for the first time in decades are left with dashed plans, and costly family vacation plans impacted.

Sometimes our plans don’t work out.

What do we do next? Well, in my case, I consider what my plans have cost me to date. I am in better physical condition than I was this time last year, Ron and I still get a few days away, great flood geology teaching, and Sedona red rocks will be equally exquisite as last year. However, there remains a goal unmet, a dream unrealized.

You would think I would quit training, right?

Wrong! I am continuing to train.I am confident my preparation will be met with opportunity.

It is much like this blog. When I first started my readership was significantly less than the present. The audience size didn’t affect my output in writing quality and desire to do my best job every time.In fact, days before my editor over at iBelieve contacted me about partnering with them, I told Ron, “I post and write the best I can as frequently as I can so that one day if opportunity arises for growth, I will be ready.”

In the spiritual, as in the physical, we can put off training for heaven as our eternal home because we are duped into thinking this life is longer than the breath we have. However, we are to live with an eternal mindset, everyday, so that when the opportunity to step into the heavenly realm signals with the end of our mortal lives we have done the work and finished our race in top shape…with fewer regrets.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Wherever it is that I hike in the next two weeks, I am confidant that the Lord ordered the steps that I will take, the path I will follow, and the people that I will walk it with. I am so thankful that the Lord gives us the desires of our hearts and then throws in some twists and turns in our stories as well.

What have you learned from plans that didn’t work out?


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  1. Julie Bentley says:

    One of my favorites to date!

  2. Believe it or not, one of the first things I said to my boys, when talking about the effects of the shutdown, was “oh no! Thats going to mess up Walp’s Grand Canyon mission trip.” Praying for y’all!

  3. Teresa C. Davis says:

    Dear Brooke,
    I love the pics and the article. I did read the entire post. You and the Grand Canyon share one thing in common – natural beauty!!! Just remember if a door closes the Lord will open a window. It is sure to be a great trip.


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