Throwback Thursday: "Always Expect The Unexpected"

“Everything in life happens for a reason. God never gives you something you can’t handle. So when things are bad, just remember, things always get better.”               

123Many years ago when I was a young man of twenty-something, someone I admired and had a great deal of respect for told me that it was best to “always expect the unexpected.” “By doing so,” he said with just a hint of a grin, “you’ll always be prepared when the shit hits the fan and believe me it will, again and again and again. Sometimes it will be of your own doing,” he continued “but sometimes it will just seem to come from out of nowhere. You’ve got to be ready for it or it can really upset the balance and throw you for a loop.” And I sat listening but not really hearing what he was telling me you know. I mean there he was drawing on his life experience and sharing some of what he had learned with me, in a serious attempt at giving me some insight that just might make my journey a little easier. But being young and quite full of myself I took his words of wisdom with a grain of salt. Little did I realize then, just how right he was. He was a very wise man.

Now here I am nearly 40 years later. My wise friend and mentor is no longer with us but his words of wisdom live on within me. Through the years the shit has hit the fan many, many times just like he said it would. Sometimes catching me completely by surprise and rocking my world to no end. But even when I thought I was prepared for the unexpected it was still an ordeal. Through the years the problems and complications that hit the fan have taken many forms, marital and family matters, friendship and relationship issues, employment related issues, emotional and mental issues, the list goes on and on. Some we were able to resolve relatively quickly while others took time and great effort but with God’s help we made it through every time.

It is said that God will never gives us more than we can handle and I believe it. However, when your going through some major crisis or situation and are dealing with a flood of emotions which may include pain, fear, anger, depression, doubt, confusion, outrage, helplessness, to name a few, you tend to believe that it is definitely much more than you can handle. It is at this low point when you feel all is lost and ready to give up that your faith in God kicks in. Through the power of prayer and assistance from others who love and care about you, you begin to get a handle on things and though slowly at times, you begin making progress towards resolution. Only then do you begin to realize that you can indeed handle it. With God’s help we can handle anything.

The Bible tells us that every test that God gives us is common to all people and He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear. During this test of faith He remains with us prepared to give us the strength we need to endure it.  All we have to do is ask. Needing help is not a sign of weakness, we all need God’s help at one time or another. Sometimes our prayers and pleas for help are answered  in the form of an insight or clarity as God speaks to directly to us. When that little voice speaks to you, don’t turn away or ignore it, listen with all your heart. It is God speaking to you. Sometimes He answers us indirectly through friends or even strangers who interact with us. And sometimes instead of speaking directly to us He gives an outward sign that brings us insight and provides the help we need. There have been times when I wasn’t paying attention and it took several signs from God before the light bulb went on.

My only regret is that I didn’t listen to my friend and mentor more closely back in the day. It may not have made my journey easier but it would have certainly made me a more thoughtful and caring individual.  I was fortunate to have had three people in my young life who were instrumental in my mental and spiritual development. Art Mason a Continuation HS teacher and years later when I became a counselor,my supervisor. Albert Pacheco the father of a close friend who was instrumental in my returning to college. And a man I saw every week for several years at my then girlfriends church youth group, Mr. Hardy. He was a gentle man with a caring nature who took me under his wing and was always willing to help me even when my own father wouldn’t. Yes I was very lucky. Sadly   I didn’t realize how important they really were until I was much older. I owe them my thanks.

So as you journey through life always be prepared for the unexpected have God on your side to help you along your way. And keep your eyes and heart open because God can be found in many, many people.

Just a Thought…

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