Murphy’s Law simply states: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I know this law well. This law appears to govern my life. A bit of self-fulfilling prophecy? Not really. The fact is I am very much an optimist. I see the positive side of most situations and maintain a fairly bright disposition. I was once dubbed by a colleague as “chronically happy” as if I had a debilitating abnormal personality trait.
In my life of stumbles, delays, failures, and sheer shocks, I have continually attempted to focus on being thankful for whatever comes my way. The bible – our instruction manual for life – tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. This is not always the easiest task.
Often, being thankful is not an obstacle at all. You find a $5 bill on the ground. Thanks, God! An unexpected discount appears on your phone bill. Thank you, God! You have a great hair day. I love you, God! Other times being thankful is a supreme challenge. Your home is completely destroyed by a fire. Um…hmmm…thank you?
It is easier to curse the smoke detector for not going off until the firemen arrived rather than thank my husband for waking me from a slumber laced with carbon monoxide.
It is harder to be thankful because we simply don't think of it. When the chips are down and things are bleak it is in our nature to plot out worst case scenarios.
While standing in our kitchen and peering up at the hazy blue sky where a ceiling should have been it took all my muster to think, "The cabinets are still hanging. Our wedding dishes survived!"
It was in fact on that foggy day that I decided I would not bemoan my situation. I consciously became thankful of every little and every enormous gift.
My husband and our animals all survived without a scratch. We kept our wits about ourselves. We were calm and rationale. The firemen saved our photos and financial records. They found my great-grandmother's pearls. The dress I was sure I would wear again was destroyed so I would never have to have that yard-sale-or-not battle again. My cell phone was in my hand for an unexplainable reason. It provided us with a means to call 911, our family, our insurance agent. We found a pile of clothes near out bedroom window that the firemen had tossed out. It allowed us to put on something other than pajamas and our neighbors two sizes too small sneakers. We saw the goodwill of friends and strangers. As far as house fires go, I would say ours was pretty much OK.
It was a day that tested my own ability to offer thanksgiving. Everyone needs a thankful heart and a spirit of gratitude. We can all exist. That is easy. I believe it is far better to live and experience. Embrace your obstacles. Skew them; tilt them; twist them. Soon the light will hit them at a different angle and you will see your point of thankfulness.