Pete Wilson, senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, offers his rapidly escalating Twitter and blog followers a book that will help them navigate through the murky waters of disappointment in life. In PLAN B, he talks about the ups and downs of his own life --- both personally and professionally --- and helps readers understand through real scenarios what life and faith look like when they collide amidst devastation, disillusionment, and any number of discouraging intersections. He is candid with his own admission that he certainly doesn't have it all figured out despite the fact that, as a pastor, he consistently teaches and encourages fellow Christ followers to delve deep in their faith and continue to trust God despite hard times.
In each of the book's 14 chapters, Wilson does a tidy job of exposing the messiness of suffering and pain by carefully unpacking the theological promises of God's protection and provision and how these play out when the unthinkable occurs. Christians and those who are seeking to better understand Christianity and Christian tenets will appreciate this transparent, honest conversational approach to these difficult spiritual principles. Wrestling with God's truth in one hand and the frailty of human weakness in the other, Wilson covers the gamut of reactions that individuals naturally experience when their Plan A dissolves before their eyes.
Wilson walks readers through countless "what if" scenarios that will have them shuddering as they hit the mark of the human heart. Specifically, he exhorts fellow believers to take a short trip down memory lane and recall a time when they first discovered that life wasn't going to turn out as they had planned. Perhaps that momentous day involved a dream, a wish, a goal, or a set of expectations that didn't come to fruition. Writes Wilson, "Plans fizzle. Expectations come to nothing. Trusted people let us down --- or we let ourselves down. Dreams shatter or slip away." He notes that when Plan A comes to a halt, there are times you're not even sure of a Plan B. Enter the stalwart truth found in Scripture, which will become the bedrock of faith for enduring all those subsequent days and nights of wondering if you somehow missed God's calling.
Wilson challenges readers to a single reality that shattered dreams happen to everyone regardless of their faith orientation. The defining factor is what you do with your shattered dreams (or life) after the worst befalls you. In the context of this truth, the author explores the illusion of control we all attempt to master; how we become paralyzed with fear and defeat; how one disappointment after another can lead to us feeling whiplashed; when darkness is all you see; how to locate our anchor in Christ; where to find the power and hope to continue moving ahead; and even how real inner transformation can arise from the most difficult tragedy.
Careful readers will surely appreciate Wilson's encouraging text on redefining one's expectations of life and faith so that the two meld together in perfect harmony.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on May 4, 2010