From Grand Canyon to Branson

I get two weeks of vacation each year.  One week we usually do a “staycation.”  Then one week we do a “travel vacation.”   We try and do the “travel vacation” in the Fall when it is cooler and an easier drive in the car.  Last week was our “travel vacation.”  Here was the plan:

Dallas Cowboys v. Denver Broncos game

Drive to the Grand Canyon for 3 days

Yep … you know where this Blog is headed

We received word that the Govt would be shutting down the Parks a few days before we were to leave for Dallas.  We waited as long as we could hoping things would change and we could still go.  Finally, when we could wait no longer, we canceled the trip.  Thankfully all of our reservations were refunded.  The next dilemma was to find somewhere else to go on such short notice.  We discussed going to one of the Beaches in Florida, Georgia, or the Carolinas.  However, there was a potential hurricane coming close to the beaches during that time frame plus there was a heavy chance of rain at all of the beaches even if the hurricane didn’t come to shore.  

We looked at several different options and there was always a roadblock that kept us from going to those locations.   So, we ended up just going to Branson, MO.  Both of us have been to Branson before(first dating day trip).  We drove from Dallas Monday and spent the night at the Fleshman Hotel.   Tuesday morning we slept in(first time in a long time I can remember sleeping in) and drove to Branson.  We had a great dinner at the Keeter Center located on the campus of the College of the Ozarks.   If you have a child approaching college age, I would suggest you look into the College of the Ozarks.  Very unique and intriguing program.  

Wednesday we visited the Shepherd of the Hills Center.  I went down a zipline off of Inspiration Point(tried to convince Arlyn to go with me to no avail).  We also drove go carts on a 4 level track and played putt-putt.  Thursday we spent the day at Silver Dollar City. While there we went down into Marvel Cave, rode some rides, attended some shows and visited the craft booths.   Friday we spent the morning shopping at the Outlet Mall and then headed to NWA to spend the afternoon and evening with my parents.  We got up Saturday morning and came back home.  




I have to tell you that we thoroughly enjoyed the week of vacation we had.  I forgot all about being disappointed in not going to the Grand Canyon.  I was extrememly frustrated the day I cancelled our reservations.  However, by the end of that day, God had convicted me of my bad attitude.  How dare I get upset because my vacation plans had to change.  We had friends who had been furloughed by the Govt and wouldn’t be receiving a paycheck for an indefinite period of time.  Our little “vacation plans” having to be canceled just didn’t seem as important as other real trials that people were going through.  

At the end of the day, we were glad for how it turned out.  We drove less miles, got more sleep and had a lot of fun.  Interesting how that worked out ….

I say interesting because isn’t that how we behave in life?

We have our own plans for our life … we make the arrangements … we dictate it out … we tell everyone what we’re going to do … we manipulate people and situations to complete the plan we have for ourselves…

Then God comes along and completely “rocks our boat” …

He changes our plan … leads us down a different path … takes away a promotion or a job … takes away “a chance of a lifetime” … purchases of items fall through … etc.

Then, when all is said and done and we look back on what God took us through we see how we grew … we see how we were a testimony to Him and to others … we see the positive impact on our friends and our families … we see that God’s plan was the right plan and much better than our plan.

Of course, that doesn’t happen until all is said and done.  I couldn’t see halfway through our vacation that I was getting more sleep and having a great time.  I didn’t realize it until we got home Saturday and realized just how thankful I was that we didn’t go to the Grand Canyon.  Was Branson as beautiful as the Grand Canyon?  Absolutely not!  Was it as awe inspiring?  Not even close!  However, the Grand Canyon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  There will be other opportunities for us to go visit there.  For this time in our life, Branson was where we needed to spend our vacation.   

The next time God changes your plans … remember … He knows what you need … let Him take you through it … and after all is said and done, you will see how God used you and how He brought you through.  Then you will be able to say like Paul, “I have run the race, I have stayed the course, I have finished the job” …

Stay faithful in your Branson even though you want the Grand Canyon …

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