Chappy’s corner “What’s the plan?”

  Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.  When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed to find a wife with whom to share his fortune.  One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.  "I may look like just an ordinary guy," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die and I will inherit $200 million."  Impressed, the woman asked for his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.  Women are so much better at financial planning than men. 


A retired South Dakota teacher now living down south for the winter shared that story with me.  I don’t know whether it was he or his wife who planned to spend the cold winter days down south, but someone did.  Due to their planning they are enjoying warm days in their retirement years.  Planning is a good thing. As the saying goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”  It is a true statement.  

 This Sunday two talented football teams will meet and I’m certain the each team has a game plan that is designed for them to win and not to fail.  In the military we spend a lot of time planning.  We even have the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) which is a super detailed planning process.  The plan takes into account facts, figures and even assumptions in order to come up with the best course of action (COA) in order to achieve the goal which is to win the battle. 


We plan to succeed, but if a person’s plan for retirement is based on winning the lottery, all one can say is “good luck” because you will need it.  Wise planning doesn’t depend on “luck”.  Wise planning doesn’t depend on “inheriting” wealth, because as the earlier story illustrated, inheritances don’t always go the way we think they will.  The truth is wise planners gather information, evaluate the risk, and listen to advisors as they make plans for their future whether that future includes retirement, or buying a house, or choosing a career.  But, if we are truly concerned about our future, then we should also plan for the future after this life is over.


The truth is all of us will die.  Death is real. The scriptures state the reason for death is sin. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) we will die and then what?  What is our plan for the hereafter?  As a member of the Christian faith, I know I have a future, and the best part is that my future doesn’t depend on me. In fact if it did I would have no hope. But the key to my future is God’s gift of His Son who came to be my Savior.  Jesus said it this way, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Because of God’s amazing promise I and all who trust in Jesus have a future beyond this world.  As a believer we not only make plans, but we start by asking God to bless our decisions and plans.  That doesn’t mean God will make all our dreams come true but we live knowing that we have a loving Lord and Savior who promises to be with us no matter what troubles or obstacles we face.  We know that God is watching over us and knowing that we can move forward into this New Year with confidence, making plans and decisions based on facts and figures, but most of all based on knowing God is with us now and forever and that nothing can separate us from Him, because He is all powerful.  Now I know not everyone believes God’s promises, but without God what kind of future does one have beyond the grave, beyond tomorrow?  Without God what’s the plan? 


That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG