This post was written after digesting yesterday’s sermon.
We all have a Plan A. It’s based on our unique history and generally on the assumption that what has always been true will always be true. In Plan A we usually end up healthy, wealthy and wise. But change defines our history and it will define our future. Often the change is radical and unexpected. It can be personal or it can be global. It can affect one person, one family, one community or an entire world. An unexpected change of direction is usually disruptive and often terrifying. But if there is a silver lining to the change cloud it’s that embedded in all great change is great opportunity.
Most of you know that I have a big family with children ranging in age from 9 to 37. Most of my kids come home for a visit every week. Often, Sunday dinner is more like Sunday chaos with babies and little kids, adult children and their friends all scattered around the house and deck or sitting around a fire and talking about all manner of things from politics to philosophy to religion. With a slew of 20 and 30 somethings, the talk is also full of plans for the future.
It can be a bit hard to sit on the sidelines and eavesdrop on the conversations. This weekend I heard about plans to become a motivational speaker, talk about travel for kids’ future sports teams, discussion about trips and vacations and lots of talk about technology and what’s on the horizon for I phones. All of these things are possible I suppose. These young adults are smart and hard-working, motivated and accomplished. Are they likely? I’m not so sure. Even if they are possible the question is whether we should also maybe have a Plan B.
In Plan B I think we should be considering that heating fuel is going to cost a lot more so before we buy the latest phone we should perhaps have a wood stove and a means for supplying it with fuel that doesn’t come from the Middle East. We can anticipate that food could be harder to pay for. Before we update the computer I think it would be wise to have a few months of meals put away. I know the patio set is beautiful but a small garden can provide you with twenty jars of tomato sauce in very little space. Improving your golf swing is fun but having some food growing skills takes time too. The latest best-seller is really good but a couple of how-to books on your shelves might come in mighty handy. Heated leather seats are lovely but a car that gets excellent mileage will be a much better investment in an energy constrained future. A walkable community is even better.
Plan B. It sounds like I’m talking austerity and deprivation but it really doesn’t have to be that. Plan B can be empowering and good for you. Plan B should be good for you and good for the planet. Plan B will mean eating less meat and eating only the good stuff. It means staying home rather than going out. It means buying less and asking some questions before you plop down your life energy (that’s what money is-life energy)on that whatever. Do I really need this? Can I get it second hand? Can I borrow it or rent it? Can I buy it in bulk with less packaging? Can I share it with a friend? Can I get it made locally or from a local vendor? If I really need it should I have a couple of spares, just in case? Can I learn to do it myself? Plan B may need all of those strategies to make your dollars stretch far enough.
The stock market is way up but many people feel poorer. The geo-political news is not anything to make us feel good. We have problems with soil and water and energy. We are hitting flu season and I read of plague and hanta virus and resistant super bugs. Still, the sun is shining and all things seem possible. Have a cup of tea and think about your Plan B. If you have one, think about how to share your plan with people who may need to know. Pass this along on Facebook or suggest a good book for your book club. Bring it up at church or at your parents group. You may be surprised to find that you are not alone with your concerns. Plan B needs a support group and the time is now. Life can shift on a dime.