Message Recap – 6/25/10 – The 2nd Best Trap: Part 2

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last week we talked about the 2nd Best Choice – you can read the recap or listen to the podcast here.

Here is this weeks podcast:

In case you were confused, Pastor Dan doesn't mean a mouse trap made in Taiwan by “2nd best trap.” He means the trap of settling for second best.

The most dangerous enemy of great is not bad – it's good enough. If you want to be a great guitar player the thing that will stop you is not being a bad guitar player. What will stop you is being just good enough that you stop trying. You stop practicing. In the same way, the most dangerous enemy of success is not failure. In fact, in order to be successful you will most likely to fail first. The most dangerous enemy of success is settling for the mediocre. Saying “This is enough, I'm not going any farther.” That is the 2nd best trap.

This week we're talking about The 2nd Best Plan.

Tonight we're going to hear the story of The Road From Tijuana. Pastor Dan used to intern with a mission organization called CRM. The ministry was driving down through Mexico and all the other nations of Central America (and back) preaching the Gospel to villages along the way. Pastor Dan's job was to drive the 36 foot Mitsubishi box truck. At this one point they were setting up a crusade in Ensenada, Mexico, and they had to drive the box truck from Phoenix, AZ, through San Diego and Tijuana and down to Ensenada. There were two ways to reach Ensenada; the free road or the toll road. They had a bright idea: let's save the $50 and take the free road instead of the toll road! They got directions and away they went, trying to find the road labeled Ensenada Libre (free). This turned out to be pretty difficult, involving many wrong turns. One turn led down a narrow road into a little community with people hanging out, staring at the crazy Americans. Pastor Dan realized quickly that this was not the right road, so he decided to turn around – on the smallest road ever. Pastor Dan was backing up, backing up, until WHAM! He slammed into a cement wall, causing a huge crack in the wall and all the locals to get just a bit angry.

At that point Pastor Dan decided to just get out of there, but in order to do that he had to maneuver a hairpin turn. Well, the truck didn't make the turn. At all. Not even close. It completely ran over a fence post, snapping it in half. People poured out of their homes to see what had caused such destruction. It was Pastor Dan.

Many hours of driving, hundreds of dollars in property damage and a great deal of frustration later, he finally found the road to Ensenada.

The road from Tijuana started with a seemingly good idea: Let's save some money. We'll take the free road instead of the toll road. Brilliant! But it ended up taking 8 hours to make what should have been a 1 hour drive, with a whole lot of frustration thrown in.

Check out what Proverbs 14:12 says about it:

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.

When the Bible says “death” it doesn't always mean physical death. Sometimes it's talking about the kind of death that a heroin addict lives with, or what someone struggling with depression faces.

Pastor Dan is not one of those people with a flawless internal sense of direction; it's best if he uses a GPS or other assistance to navigate. But he knows he doesn't have a good sense of direction. Some people have a lousy sense of direction, but they don't realize it. They insist they know the right way to go.

We've all had moments when we thought we knew a better way than the instruction manual or the map. We think, “This way makes more sense!” as we travel the wrong way on a one way street.

“This way will be easier! We'll just cut some of those corners!” you say, while becoming hopelessly lost.

The good thing is, we're not alone in that. If you take a look in the Bible you'll see plenty of great people who had the same problem. One great example of this is is King David

Read the Biblical account of one of David's incidents in 2 Samuel 6:1-7.

On the surface, that story just seems like bad luck. Poor Uzzah! But in fact the ark was never supposed to be pulled by oxen on a cart– there was a prescribed way for it to be handled, well laid out in the Bible. It was to be carried by priests on foot. But that was too hard, too inconvenient. So they used an ox cart. Instead of following God's plan, they made their own plan. And the results of this brilliant plan? Disastrous. It was similar to Pastor Dan's Tijuana plan, only with more death.

Our human plans are always 2nd best to God's plan!

Take marriage for instance:

God's plan: Wait for the right person. Commit to one person. Put that person first.

People's plan: Try a lot of people out. Test whether living together “works.”.And then when the time comes, when you're better off without than with them: leave them. It's all about me, me, me.

People decided that the whole marriage thing was too hard, too inconvenient. We had to introduce test drives of guys and girls.

The result of that shortcut is death: statistically, you are more likely to get divorced than to stay together. Broken homes and kids without a family are commonplace. All because people decided to do it their way instead of God's way.

Our plans always seem to make sense to us.

Let's take the free road! I'm gonna date as many people as I can find before I settle down! I'm gonna do whatever I want all week and repent on Sunday! I'm gonna live how I want and make it right on my death bed – that way I'll still get into heaven. They always seem like short cuts.

Often God's plans don't seem to make sense. But He's God! His plans always work out!

We have two plans to choose from:

The 2nd best plan, a.k.a. people's plan, human plans. It seems like it's going in the right direction, but instead takes you completely the wrong way. It seems like a shortcut, but when you reach the end you are stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Then there's God's plan. It's a little windy, makes you go slower. But it always takes you safely and completely to the goal.

Matthew 7:13-14 says,

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

There's God's plan – and then there's the 2nd best plan, our plan. God is calling you to surrender your plan. To choose to follow His plan. If God made you, the world and the universe, He knows that His plan will get you to the place where you are the happiest where and where you're the most fulfilled – even if you don't realize it yet!

God has a plan for you that is the best plan! He has your best interests in mind!

When making decision about life, school, jobs, relationships, etc: Don't settle for the second best plan! Seek God's plan! Don't fall into the 2nd best trap by settling for the human plan!

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