We’ve all probably been there. The bags are all packed and loaded. You’re ready for the adventure and off you go! Then somewhere along the journey HE shows up. The dreaded travel companion; the one you thought that maybe this time he had been left at home. The one you thought you had planned too well for him to join you. But, no, he insists on coming on every trip. Maybe some of you are confused. Who on earth could I be talking about? Rest assured, I have not lost my mind. I’m merely referring to he-who-must-not-be-named… Murphy, the self-invited travel companion. You know, Murphy from Murphy’s Law? “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Yeah. That guy. He’s a pest. And it never seems to matter how well you’ve planned, he still manages to sneak into your luggage.
Why do I bring up Murphy? Well, in the past year, I’ve taken two long trips and on both of them, things have gone wrong – dreadfully wrong. But there are a few things I’ve learned from those incidents, and I’d like to pass those on to you.
First, always plan for Murphy. This comes in two forms. The first is to try and anticipate him. Figure out where he is going to show up and then take steps to prevent him. Try to close all of his loop holes. Make sure when you pack the car, you don’t look like a target. Blend in with your surroundings. Make packing lists so that you don’t forget something important. Know where you’re going ahead of time. Plan for plenty of layover time in case your flight is delayed. Things like that; it gives Murphy fewer options. The second is to accept that no matter how well you’ve plan, he’s going to show up. Just anticipate having an uninvited companion.
Second, learn to live with Murphy. If you’ve taken steps to prevent him but have also accepted that he will show up, be ready to roll with it when he shows himself. Be flexible and be strong. Murphy can throw some pretty wacky curve-balls, and we have to be able to dodge them while still staying on our feet. (One thing Jane and I did on a trip was we started acting like Murphy really was traveling with us. So we had some fun with it – taking the empty chair away from the table at dinner, filling his seat in the car, and such.)
Third, forget about Murphy. So Murphy shows up, destroys your entire game plan, and you’re a bit shell-shocked. Relax. God is in control. Even when everything goes awry – whether you miss your connecting flight or your car gets broken into – God has a purpose; a plan. It is our responsibility to believe it and trust. So start looking at those moments as opportunities instead of fatalities. Take a look around and look to see where God wants you to go from here. And soon, Murphy won’t seem like such an odious companion after all.
So forget about Murphy. Live in today – in the now. Don’t fret about tomorrow. Don’t despair about yesterday. Live today. Right now. And when Murphy shows up, keep going, no matter how difficult that may be. And wholeheartedly believe that God has a plan.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
P.S. Just to prove a point – as I was publishing this post, Murphy decided to have some fun and make it vanish. So when you’re working on something you don’t want to lose, save it in at least two separate locations so that you always have one copy somewhere. I guess that’s what I get for blogging about Murphy, eh?