On a daily basis, we make smaller plans: we have an idea of what we want to wear when we get up, what we'll eat for breakfast, what we'll do when we get to work. While we may not have things planned out to the minute detail, even those who say they never plan ahead have a basic idea and a general plan in mind.
What happens when our plans run amok? When the best laid plans of mice and men have gone astray? Even with the best of plans and the best of intentions, sometimes a surprise will catch you off guard. Julius Caesar said that no one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.
And what shall we do, when the unexpected greets us at the door of our planning? I often say that life is what happens while we're busy making plans. The detours come, whether we want them or not.
Sometimes, the unexpected can bring great joy, beauty and pleasure to our lives. Discovering an unknown road, finding a never before read book, being surprised by the sudden beauty of a glorious red sunset in the midst of fire season.
Unexpected events can also bring to life our greatest fears. The unexpected diagnosis of cancer can derail you, leaving you shocked and drained at the same time. The unexpected death of a loved one. We all know that we will die. Every one of us will take that final breath. And yet, when it happens to a child, or a spouse without warning, it is as though God has pulled the final breath from our own lives as well. We are left gasping and gaping, wondering how we will ever go on.
Unexpected, surprising events take many forms in our lives. We long for the unexpected joys and pleasures. Those hidden nuggets of beauty that infuse our lives with pleasure. A new and unexpected friendship. An unexpected burst of sun in the midst of a gloomy day. And as much as we seek those unexpected joys, we strive to avoid the unexpected pains. We try to insulate and isolate from pain, fear and hurt. The unexpected events that bring those things are like unwelcome visitors in the night.
And yet, it is these very events, both of pleasure and pain that color our lives, enriching the tapestry of our existence with color. Tears of joy. Tears of pain. When woven into the fabric of our lives, they shimmer like golden sparkles, reminding us to embrace the unexpected.
When the unexpected happens, we don't have to panic. Take a deep breath, and realize that this too shall pass. This pain as well as this joy will not last a lifetime. Though sorrow may last for a night, the bible encourages us that joy comes in the morning. As the unexpected comes into your life, be thankful for the opportunity to feel something different, to feel something new. Even pain comes to teach us a lesson. Each event that we endure, whether we deem it good or bad, has something to teach us.
Once we have learned those lessons of beauty, those lessons of pain and loss and suffering, it is our task to encourage and comfort others, as we have been comforted. The greatest lesson of the unexpected is to embrace the moment, breathe it in and appreciate exactly where you are today, whether you are in sorrow or joy.
Namaste my friends