Making Back-Up Plans to Build Your Faith

If one way to draw near to God isn't working, don't give up! Try another.

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Posted in , Aug 24, 2016

Plan A Plan B

My husband showed me an article about a study that showed having a backup plan can actually decrease your odds of success. Presumably this is because having a safety net makes succeeding less essential, lowering motivation. I read the article with interest because I’m the queen of having Plans B, C, D, and E in the wings. Andrew is the exact opposite.

“What did you think?” Andrew asked, with a hint of a grin.

I smiled back ever so slightly. “I think the study examined what happens if you have a backup plan in case you fail,” I replied, “Which is very different from having backup plans for how to succeed.”

From my perspective, the strategy I choose to conquer a challenge is best thought of as my first strategy. To overcome a bad habit, get that new job, or help a child with a learning disability succeed I’m likely to need multiple approaches.

The more resourceful, open-minded, and creative I can be about solving my problems, the less I need to consider the possibility of failure. So if Plan A shows signs of weakness, I supplement it with Plan B, buff up Plan C, and start thinking about the rest of the alphabet.

Think about it: if my prayer life is dry, what do I do? Is my backup plan geared toward failure, or success? Should I give up… or try another approach? Give up… or reach out to others for help? Give up… or sing a hymn that lifts my heart? The more I am open to a variety of approaches to drawing near to God, the better the odds are that I am going to succeed.

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