For the few days leading up to my trip, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the weather forecast. News reporters hyped up the heavy snow fall headed our way. Friends and coworkers reassured me that I’d easily get out before the worst of the snow rolled in. I hoped they were right… right up until the moment I realized they were completely wrong.

Standing at my gate I watched the visibility outside fade to near white-out conditions as the ground crews de-iced my plane for a third time. Reality settled in, my flight wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon and they’d already chewed through the little bit of layover time I had to make my connecting flight. I had planned to fly south to meet my daughter to help her drive from the south back to New England. Struck with the reality that our trip would wait another day, I stumbled upon wisdom in my cancelled flight.

Things don’t always go as planned.

We can carefully map-out exactly how things should go, but they may ultimately not go as we had planned. Even when we “take care” of everything that we have the power to control, things may turn out completely differently than desired. When that happens, it’s okay to temporarily visit disappointed, but don’t unpack and move in there. The next time a grounded flight holds you back or a monkey wrench ends up smack dab in the middle of your plans, try to roll with it as much as you can. Adjust, adapt, and move on.

Timing isn’t our own.

We may want what we want in our timing but, it doesn’t always work out that way. We may want a new job, a new home, a bigger family, or any other opportunity when we want it. Waiting can be hard but it may be exactly what we need.

If you’ve ever been a few minutes late leaving home only to pass an accident on your way, you know that sometimes a delay keeps us safe. For my flight, the danger was visible. While I didn’t want to wait, I knew it was keeping us from traveling in treacherous conditions. We’re not always fortunate enough to see what we might avoid by a delay nor do we always understand a benefit of waiting. But, we can rest assured that God’s timing is perfect. If “it’ doesn’t happen when we want it to, it’s because it’s not his timing yet.

Your attitude impacts the outcome.

Standing in line at the ticket counter, I couldn’t help but notice the wide array of attitudes surrounding me. A few people quickly took out their frustrations on the gate agents who quite obviously had no control over the conditions nor the amount of seats on later flights. Some approached the counter with graciousness and understanding. I took the approach of let’s see what we can make work together, trying to remain positive. The difference ended up being a flight nine hours earlier than had I simply asked to rebook with the earliest flight the agent could give me. Remaining positive, gave me the clarity of thought to suggest looking for alternatives at nearby Logan airport. When we work to keep a positive attitude, we see possibilities where before we only saw the challenges or disappointments.

Opportunities can come with a change of plans

With my new travel time, my arrival shifted until lunch time the next day. My daughter googled places to eat near the airport. She found a fun place that ended up being one of the many highlights of our trip together. Had I flown in the prior evening, we would have missed the cute local spot. Often delays or seasons of wait open up opportunities that we would have missed all together if the timing was different. A mural on the wall of the restaurant we found said “You are now.” What a great reminder to be present. Be open to what today holds for you. And, in the moments of discouragement when what you want is “not now” embrace what is.

It’s your turn:

Have you ever had a time when things didn’t turn out the way you planed but in the end worked out ok despite the challenges? Or, did you ever have a time when things didn’t work out on your time but in the end that was what was best? Click to comment I’d love to hear from you. And, if one of my take-aways resonated with you, be sure to let me know.

Four things you can do the next time your plans don’t turn out the way you wish they would:

  1. Let go of what you can’t control. Don’t waste your energy worrying about things outside of your control. Focus on what you can influence and move on.
  2. Watch your attitude. Try to remain positive and let go of discouragement or negative self talk.
  3. Look for the opportunities. Look for the good in your situation. Find the opportunities you would have missed otherwise.
  4. Be grateful. Even if you feel discouraged, find reasons to be grateful.

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Until next time friend, be blessed!