Life is full of irony. From what I’ve observed living these many years on the planet, I’ve concluded that it was designed that way.
Sometimes something so terrific can happen to a person that is so incredible and unexpected that they can hardly believe it. They had that magic set of winning numbers and now they’re multi-millionaires! Who could’ve imagined?! They quit that lousy job they always hated. They buy houses and cars for everyone in their family. They proceed to live the good life. Fast forward five years and the fortune’s gone, they’re bankrupt, their family and friends have deserted them ... that blessing turned into a curse.
Then let’s consider some guy we’ll call Joe. Joe’s is so excited today! He’s got a wife and kids and a mortgage. Just living paycheck to paycheck. Barely keeping his head above water. But he got a break at his job ... maybe a promotion. But it all depends on him landing an account with an important, but difficult client today and he’s got an early morning appointment that he mustn’t miss. So he’s up, dressed and out the door right on time ... and his car won’t start. The only car he’s got. He pops the hood and has no luck. Call an Uber driver. Wait. And wait. Finally he shows up ... we gotta’ go! Pay extra if they’ll please just HURRY!!!
In the car, down the street. Time’s running out, but we can still just make it! Suddenly a kid on a bike rides out in front! The Uber driver swerves to avoid the kid, runs up on the curb and pops a tire! No problem, he says, he can change a tire in minutes! He gets the tire off and goes to get the spare in the trunk ... and the spare is flat!!! Joe’s phone rings. It’s his angry client who’s been waiting for Joe to appear for the last ten minutes. Where is he? Joe tries to explain, but the client will have none of it. He’s got other appointments scheduled and he can’t wait. So just forget it. Well, so much for that. Well, at least the rush is over.
While Joe waits for the Uber driver to come back from the gas station a couple of blocks away, he begins to think about what he’s going to tell his boss. He doesn’t have to worry about it too long, because his boss calls him up and fires him. Now he’s got real problems to worry about ... but the Uber driver is back with the patched tire. Joe’s about to give this guy the last bit of cash he has to get a ride back home so he can tell his wife and kids that their whole world is about to come crashing down around them. So Joe decides to put it all out of his mind for a few minutes and help with the tire changing.
They begin chit chatting and the Uber driver finds out about the kind of work Joe does. And Joe finds out that the Uber driver has an uncle who’s in the same industry as Joe. They chat some more and the driver tells Joe about a particular problem the his uncle has always had at his company that he hasn’t been able to resolve. Joe tells him that he’s run into the same problem where he’s worked and they found some partial solutions.
The driver suggests he should take Joe to meet his uncle. And they do. Joe gets offered a job. He accepts and it turns out to be the best job he’s ever had. More fulfillment in his work. More pay. His car gets fixed. He catches up on his bills. Everybody lives happily ever after.
A cursed day turned into a blessing.
Of course you know my crazy little made-up scenarios are a bit outlandish. Everybody knows that real life scenarios can be even more outlandish than that! And the outcomes that determine if a scenario is a blessing or a curse can be determined either by our own choices, actions and attitudes, or by seemingly pure blind luck.
Wonderful surprises can turn out to be sad and awful. Terrible disasters can turn out to be the best thing that ever happened.
So this awful pandemic has swept across our world, leaving pain and destruction wherever it went. People have died. Many have lost their livelihoods. We’ve been separated from friends and family. Our lives have come to a grinding halt. Lives have been changed forever. We’ve been cursed.
But wait a minute ... families are pulling together more. We’ve been forced to step back and re-examine our priorities. Public and private problems we’ve been ignoring are finally getting the attention they need. Life has slowed down a bit. We can take time to enjoy each other more. In the struggle we’re finding new ways to arrange our lives and help our world work better. Our lives have been changed forever. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say the pandemic is a blessing, I will say that there are blessings emerging from it.
A terrible tragedy has befallen us. Let’s not allow it to beat us.
I hope one day we can all look back and say, Wow! That was awful! But look at all the good that came out of it! We are better people for having endured and survived such a dark and terrible time!