There Is No Backup Plan

Our youngest son applied to a college.That’s right, just one.

After extensive research across the globe considering vastly different schools and programs from California to Florida, America to Australia, only one stood out to him. So, he invested significant time completing an extensive application, audition (including the writing and performing of at least three original songs), and interview process.

450026721As I share his journey with others, people often ask, “Where else has he applied?” or, even more directly, “What’s his backup plan?”

An engineer by training and early career, I am a big fan of redundancy, and typically design for it. All 66 projects I worked on as an engineer included a series of redundancies built into the primary designs, as well outright backup plans for construction, use, and in case of possible failure.

I have seen too many things collapse, too many surprises upset very thorough and well-intentioned plans, and too many “sure things” turn into broken and shattered dreams.

Most of my forethoughts of actions and adventures – sometimes moments, but often days, weeks, even years and decades in the works – include a backup plan. I may not write every plan out or broadcast my dispositions, but my mind rehearses options and scenarios keyed to potential triggers.

So, I ponder the wisdom of anyone proceeding with anything with no backup plan.

However, in my pondering, I am struck by the reality that in the biggest and most important things in my life – specifically my life and my everlasting soul – I have no backup plan.

I have cast my lot – all that I have, all that I am, and all that I ever hope to be, both now and forevermore – with Jesus Christ, and with Jesus Christ alone.

I am trusting that He is the Way, the truth, and the life, and apart from Him, there is no other.

In life and in death, if the Jewish and Christian scriptural promises are not true, I have no supplementary options on the table, or waiting for me out back, or buried or locked away somewhere that I can access in an emergency. I have no additional lifelines or phone-a-friends, no other “Get out of Hell Free” cards, no magic mirrors or escape portals or reset buttons or time machines.

I don’t have a list of other religions to run to if Christianity doesn’t work out.

I am not secretly banking on an underlying Godless reality of meaninglessness temporal existence and random chance.

I am not presuming an impersonal fundamental materiality of eternal oneness and unity.

I am not supposing a rationally enlightened allegiance to a future nothingness.

I am not expecting an anonymous continuance or terminus devoid of justice, righteous punishments, and gracious rewards.     I am not casting my hopes in prevailing victoriously over and through a maze of emotional, intellectual, moral, physical, and political battles in a worldly survival of the fittest contest.

I am not trusting my future hopes in a promising pastor, politician, priest, or professional; a particular program, prosperous possessions, or perceived power; or my ability to produce plentiful points on the scoreboard of life.

I am not hoping to one day brilliantly figure everything out and have all my intelligent (and foolish) questions answered so I can then – knowing all things there are to be known – make a completely informed and rational decision that requires absolutely zero faith.

No, I only have one plan – trust in Jesus Christ. There is no backup plan.

Dr. Kenneth Lynn Lewis serves as President of The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas and is the author of “Meat and Potatoes for the Soul”.

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