T42D: Plans that go awry

Rodders thinks about becoming better, not bitter.


This year so many people have had their plans drastically altered and cancelled because of coronavirus, from proposed weddings, family outings, holidays in the UK and overseas and much more.

My wife and I were looking forward to celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary on 23 May, with a special meal with friends at a local hotel and then a cruise around the British Isles on 28 May for 12 days.

It has reminded me of a scripture in the book of James where he writes, ‘Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money”. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”’ [James 4:13–15]

Dave Keating shared a story with me and I would like to pass it on here. A couple decided to have their dream holiday. They had always wanted to go to Italy to visit Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa; experiencing all the beautiful destinations in that country. They researched holidays, looked at the best time of the year to go, they even went to evening classes to learn Italian.

A very helpful travel agent suggested which hotels and tour guiding companies they could use. Flights were booked and hotel reservations were made. Plans for their itinerary were put in place and the holiday was paid for. The holiday was booked for a month’s time and the waiting was almost too much. Anticipation was high as the days dragged by. The biggest thing on their mind was getting away to Italy.

On the day their holiday started, there was an early flight and so a taxi was booked for 5.30am. They arrived at the airport, checked in their luggage, and went to the departure lounge. After an hour, they were called, along with the other passengers, to the boarding gate. They boarded the plane and took their seats. The couple relaxed back into their seats. They were off on their dream holiday. They settled back and fell asleep.

As the plane landed on the runway the couple awoke. It trundled along and a voice said, “Welcome to Holland”. “Holland?” they said, “We are supposed to be in Italy”.

While they had been asleep, the captain has announced over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen we have been told that we have to divert to Rotterdam airport as Mount Etna has erupted. Please stay calm and we will try to get you to your intended destination as soon as possible.” Well, the couple were slightly put out by this news but there was nothing to be done at present. They surmised that they would arrive in Italy a little late but it would be ok.

After the plane landed they were met by a representative of the holiday company. A hotel and room had been found for them in Rotterdam. After collecting their luggage, a taxi took them to the hotel, which was quite nice, and they settled into the room. Later that day the room phone rang requesting they go down to the bar where the rep would explain what was to happen next.

On arrival at the bar, the rep, with a sad look on his face, explained that due to the ash cloud created by Etna all flights in Europe had been cancelled for the foreseeable future. This was devastating news for the couple. Their dream holiday was in ruins. No Coliseum, no Leaning Tower, no Gondolas, no Trevi Fountain. All gone. It took the wind from their sails.

However, the rep had a different slant on things. Yes, they were not in Italy but Holland had some great things to offer, including the Tulip Fields, canal boat trips, see Rembrandt paintings, visit The Hague, and Amsterdam. It was not the holiday they booked but it was a holiday! The couple brought new guide-books, went out on tours, learnt a bit of Dutch and made the best of it.

Things don’t always work out as we had hoped for but we have a choice to either spend our time moaning about the situation or make the best of it.

We either become bitter or better.

So, the Thought for Today is if we commit our lives to God all that happens is in His hands.

For we read in Proverbs 3 verse 6, ‘In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight’.

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose [Romans 8:28].

Even when things seem to be going badly wrong, if we are in the Kingdom of God then we can rest safe in the knowledge that He knows what is for our best.




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