Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Plan B - by Pete Wilson

The subtitle of Pete Wilson's book, Plan B, is "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought that he would?"  Throughout the book, Wilson thoroughly examines dozens of situations, both Biblical and of modern-day people, to see what a Plan B looks like, and how we should handle it.  From Joseph's trip to Egypt in slavery, to David's flight from Saul after being anointed as the next king, from stories of infertility to death of children, failing marriages and lost jobs, Plan B discusses disappointment, grief, hope, and faith in the face of lost dreams.  Pete Wilson acknowledges that he cannot give us answers, but he can point us to the cross and the One who is there for us through every step of His plan for us.

Bear with me, I have a lot to say about this book.  I am not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading it, but I certainly wish I had read it sooner.  Plan B is the most down-to-earth Christian living book I have read in a very long time.  Pete Wilson is a humble, self-aware author who takes himself very lightly, but never treats his readers' or his subjects' pain casually.  An author who admits he is in need of the same answers he seeks to write about is one the reader can trust to dig deep and give truthful guidance.  This book does just that.  As Wilson walks through each example, he stops to examine it at every step, but he never leaves a story hanging just to make a single point that might not hold true to the rest of the story.  Every story he starts, he works through fully, giving his points and conclusions more credence than simple bits and pieces linked to each individual idea.  Both his Biblical examples, and his real-life people follow this system, and while I was sometimes on edge waiting to see how a story would turn out, I could trust that he would come back to it and finish it for me.

I have a long list of quotes from this book that resonated with me; I hate to give them without context, but maybe it will give you a taste of his writing and style.

"We must decide if we are going to put our faith in what God does or in who God is." (Emphasis mine)  The idea that even if our life circumstance is our Plan B, we should be able to trust that God has not messed up, and that he is there for us regardless of our circumstances.

Wilson also talks a lot about waiting on God.
"The question isn't 'Can you trust God?' but 'Can you wait?"
"...waiting may be the most important something you can and need to do.
What you're doing is allowing your hope to grow up.  And if you can't be still and wait and hope, even when you have no reason to hope, you can't become the person God created when he thought you into existence."  Waiting is an important part of our Plan Bs; waiting to see how it turns out, waiting to see why we even had to go through a Plan B, waiting to see just what God is doing.

In addition to the myriad of quotes from Wilson that strike a chord, he quotes several other authors and pastors with aplomb.  He uses them with enough frequency to lend weight to his own ideas, but he does not overdo it to the point of feeling that he is just rehashing other people's thoughts.

While the topic of Plan B is a difficult one, the book itself is an easy, yet thought-provoking read.  I give it 5 stars for depth of topic, ease of reading, and real-life practicality.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling with how their life is going versus how they thought it would.  And, really, isn't that most, if not all, of us?

I received a copy of this book for free as part of Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program for bloggers.  I was not required to provide a positive review.