The plan is…

The plan is that I will have a great day off tomorrow. The plan is that tomorrow morning I will do one or two jobs that need doing and do some child-ferrying. The plan is that tomorrow afternoon I will go to Ipswich and watch a football match. The plan is that Ipswich Town will put in the best performance of the season and win at least 4-0. The plan is that I will have a great seat.

The problem is that most of those plans are reliant on factors that are beyond my control… unless of course my fantasy comes true and Roy Keane (the Ipswich Town manager at the time of this bloggage for the uninformed) realises he is one player short, looks into the stand, spots me and decides that I am exactly the right person to save the day and I score all four goals. Of course if that happens I will have to give up my great seat. What a dilemma that will be.

In the real world the words of the Scottish poet and hero Robbie Burns seem to be true: “The best-laid plans of mice and men aft gan aglay.” (translation: ‘the best-laid plans of mice and men often go wrong.’) Robbie Burns observed (how?) that human and mice plans often go wrong. The comedian Eddie Izzard asks a very pertinent question of this truism. What plans are the mice making – plans to get cheese? (It’s a brilliant routine that I won’t spoil by attempting to quote it here). But even if we put the mice plans to one side for a moment, it is true that our plans aft gan aglay.

The key is to have the ability of a chameleon. No, not having a tongue twice the length of our body. No, not having a sticky bit on the end of your tongue to catch insects. No, not having eyes that can look in two different directions at once. All those things make chameleons extraordinarily cool creatures. God was definitely on a roll when he was designing them. No, the coup de grace, the piece de resistance, the cherry on the top of the cake for the chameleon is the ability to change colour. Some say that it does it to reflect its mood, while others say that it does it for camouflage. All we know is he’s called the Stig… (sorry, slipped into a Top Gear parallel universe for a moment).

Chameleons are adaptable. They are able to change. That’s something we often find difficult because we find security in familiarity. There is a comfortable inertia that we have to overcome if we are to be adaptable, willing to step beyond our comfort zone and try things a bit differently. It’s not always easy, but it means that if the plans gan aglay we are able to respond and make new plans that may be better than the originals.

I guess that’s what Peter found when Jesus encouraged him to step out of the boat. His plan original plan was to get safely from one side of the lake to the other but he ended up being the first boardless surfer.

One thought on “The plan is…

  1. >Okay, plan did not go exactly as outlined. Main difference was that Ipswich only won 1-0, but it was still a win! The goal was scored in time added on at the end of the match. Those who left early and heard the roar of the crowd from outside the ground must have been gutted! (I didn't play)

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