When Plans Fail



The trail simply disappeared. We’d been walking along, enjoying the nice day, following the trail markers, when suddenly the path was no longer clear.

My family visited a local state park over spring break and spent the night at the lodge in the park. We took advantage of the unseasonably warm day (especially for the winter we’ve had here in Indiana) and went on a hike. We had looked at the map and decided on the best trail to take, yet the map was of no help when we had only traversed about half of our route.


As you can see from the picture, there were only leaves. And more leaves.

What do you do when your plans get foiled and the next steps don’t seem clear? It seems there are a few different options.

1) Give up. Throw in the towel. Have a seat where you are and hope that eventually the right way to go will become apparent. Given time, someone else might come along that knows the way.

2) Go back the way you came. This seems to be the safest option. You’ve already traveled that path and you know what to expect. You may not gain any ground, but at least you know danger doesn’t lie ahead.

3) Look for clues and make a guess. Use the resources you have to make an educated decision. See what happens, keeping in mind you can always resort to #2. Use your instincts.

4) Blaze your own trail. Be adventurous. Branch out into unknown territory. This can be terrifying, because you don’t know what awaits on the other side. But sometimes the outcome can be better than if you had been able to stay on the trail to begin with. If you meet with failure, at least that’s better than staying stuck.

Against my very nature, we chose option #4. If you remember, my word for this year is RISK.

My oldest freaked out a little. He’s a rule follower and isn’t too adventurous, just like his mother. “But we don’t know where we’re going! We’ll get lost!” he cried. His dad reassured him that blazing your own trail can be a good thing.

We knew the general direction of the road. Without the foliage in bloom, making our own path was fairly easy with the exception of a few sticker bushes here and there.

Our family made it to the road and after a few feet this is what we saw:


Apparently we weren’t too lost on our big adventure. And the best part was we encountered this (below), not too many minutes later:


–a playground, which we would not have come across had we stayed on the trail. Sometimes, taking a risk can provide an even better outcome than you might have anticipated. That obstacle you encounter just might be a blessing in disguise.

And I’ll add, bringing someone else along on your journey certainly helps when you reach a roadblock. Their encouragement and support may be just the thing you need to keep you going.

IMG_1114Life is full of twists, turns, mountaintops, and valleys. Don’t be discouraged when life doesn’t go as planned. Something better might be just around the corner.



Feel free to use any of the photos!

4 thoughts on “When Plans Fail

  1. Hooray for adventure! This comes during a week I have been self-doubting, so I wanted to say THANK YOU for the reminder to keep dreaming and run my race, even in the unexpected turns. I hope you and your family had a blast during Spring Break!

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