Penwell’s Law of Travel and Why Churches Need to Plan for Failure

Dominic on the beach


Boy, howdy, do I get cranky on the first day of vacation!

For months I look forward to the time off. I do all that pre-vacation planning, thinking about how long we’ll drive each day, where we’ll stop to eat, the kind of hotel that can accommodate five people. I like the planning.

The packing, though? I don’t like the packing. In particular, I don’t like the “getting-out-of-the-house” part. It always takes exactly two hours longer to leave than I planned. There invariably seems to be one more thing that, if it gets left behind, will mean certain calamity—medicine, power cords, the five year-old’s nebulizer.

And I tend to take out my frustrations on my family. For the first hour in the car I’m a sullen jerk. I don’t want to be a jerk.Nobody wants me to be a jerk. But there I am privately (or if you ask my family, not so privately) seething about the fact that now we’re two hours behind my meticulously thought out schedule.

Except it’s not that meticulously thought out, is it? I never seem to factor in the two extra hours that, no matter how much we’ve packed and prepared the night before, it takes to get on the road. So, either because of my poor planning or my bad memory (or more likely, some combination of the two) my family has to start its time together with a Dad who blames everybody but himself for the late start and the bad mood he’s in.

Continue reading at [D]mergent . . . 


One thought on “Penwell’s Law of Travel and Why Churches Need to Plan for Failure

  1. 1. This travel experience sounds very familiar, not only for my family of origin, but the folks I live with now too.
    2. This theology of journey reminds me of an episode of the Sopranos I often refer to when I am considering the “American Attitude of Success.” A Russian housekeeper tells Tony Soprano, that Americans are the only people in the world who expect everything to go exactly as they plan it. And then are distraught when life doesn’t go as planned. The rest of the world expects that life will have more disappointment and pain than overwhelming celebration. And they are thrilled when life goes as planned.
    3. This is a wonderful reminder of our need to adjust our expectations. Thanks, Derek!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s