Rule #5 Continued: Adapt

Almost forgot to post today. I volunteer at my church at it keeps me busy through the normal hours I would be writing my blog post. But here it is so no harm done. As promised a note about improvise and adapt.

While overcome speaks to force of will, adapt speaks to flexibility. In my many missions trips I found flexibility to be the most effective method of solving problems. No matter how well you plan an event the schedule is guaranteed to change. You can't simply overcome change. Change is inevitable. So that's when it's time to adapt. I remember spending months preparing to do childrens' ministry in Poland for one of my missions trips. I get their and our contact had set us up to work with youth and street ministry. We could have stuck to the plan and tried to play childrens' games but instead we adapted to the changes. We quickly came up with new games to reach the youth. We took activities we planned for the children, balloon animals, and used it for street ministry. And it worked masterfully. It would have been so easy to sit on our hands and whine about how we were not prepared for this type of ministry. We could have stuck to the plan and tried to play a bunch of childrens' games with the youth. But our effectiveness would have been nullified.

I love the sermon by Graham Cooke describing the goodness of God. He states (paraphrased): "You always know how Gods going to feel towards you [love], but you never know what he's going to do next." God is unpredictable, and it is impossible to obey the Holy Spirit without flexibility. Only this morning I was working the sound board at church. I had everything set up perfectly by the end of the first service. But the moment the second service started everything had changed. I didn't touch the board. It was just different. Maybe the temperature in the room changed by one or two degrees or maybe their were fewer people in the room, or maybe one of the musicians had tuned their instrument between services. It doesn't matter the reason, the service stopped sounding good and it was my job to fix it. So I did.

A plan is vital to success but flexibility is the deciding factor. Plan for the best, prepare for the worst, but adapt to the moment. Think on this verse: "A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." [Prov 16:9]. To me this says it's wise to make a plan but ultimately the plan needs to adapt to God's bigger picture.