Every good coach has a back-up plan if the game were to take an unexpected turn of events.  Sometimes there are circumstances that are beyond human control; this is when players and coaches display their true character.  This week we had to change our “game plan” when the weather forced us to cancel our annual International Soccer Match between a local team and the international students working at Ober-Gatlinburg Ski Resort.

The fields were too wet to play on but the weather was prime for a hike into the heart of the Smokies.  After a bit of discussion, half the group remained to play futbol/futebol in the parking lot while the others joined me on a historic stroll through Greenbriar on the Porter’s Creek trail.  Near the end of trail we stopped to explore an old cemetery.  While discovering the stories written on the memorial stones the students asked many questions about our customs, traditions, and religious views of life and death.

God often has His way of changing our plans so that we can see His love and grace more clearly.  On our “plan B” hike, in an unexpected location, we were able to engage deep into a discussion about life, death, and where God fits in to our daily rhythms.  Our day finished back at Ober housing where we celebrated God’s blessings and new friendships with pizzas.  Even though we will never know who would have won the Soccer Match, the day was still a win!