Life happens in the most unusual places and the most inappropriate times. It could be in a grocery store, it might be while chaperoning your child’s school field trip, or picking up pet waste in your backyard. Life is funny that way. It doesn’t wait for you, it just happens.
I decide to go fishing with my nine-year old grandson. How difficult is that? Bait a hook and cast the line off the shore line. BINGO, BANGO, BONGO something is tugging at my line. The pole bends beneath the weight of my catch and the bobber sinks into the water. The adrenaline pumps through my veins and I know I’ve got a live one.
And then life happens. I pull my line from the water only to discover I’ve caught an empty pop can that is entangled in a massive amount of lake weeds. My annoyance level grows when I realize the only wacky worm bait I own is at the bottom of the lake.
It’s in my power to make it a SH@# or SUGAR moment. What to do?
It’s Saturday morning. With a shopping list in hand and three kids in tow, I am grocery store bound. It should be a flawless outing. But then life happens. Pulling the cart into the checkout lane I realize it’s not my cart. Oops! Thank you, grandson, for assuming the cart belonged to us because you saw Fruity Pebbles and strawberry pop tarts.
I can either make it a SH!# or SUGAR moment. What to do?
Yep! The odds of life going amiss are high.
When faced with life happen moments we are presented with two choices: See the humor or get angry.
I’ve opted for the anger route more times than I care to admit and could author a book on How to Get Angry When Life Happens. Unfortunately, the last page of the book would be a repeat of the first page. Why? Because anger spawns a repeat cycle of past mistakes. Nothing is learned through anger and we end up in the same place we started.
When we allow humor to kick start a life happens moment the page turn reads differently. Let’s backtrack to the first scenario and consider the options.
My fishing line is tangled and an aluminum can is the only catch of the day. The vile profanities perched on my tongue are but one breath away. My nine-year old grandson watches as I reel my catch onto the shore. He’s waiting to see how Neenee will react to this hot mess attached to her life happens fishing line.
“Run up to the house and bring back the biggest platter you can find,” I called out.
“Why,” he questioned.
“Stop with the questions and just go,” I said.
A few minutes later he returns with a cookie sheet. “That’s perfect buddy! Why don’t you pack up our fishing gear and head back to the house. Tell Poppy to set the table for dinner and I’ll be there shortly.”
I quickly cut the tangled fishing line from the pole and carefully arrange my catch of the day on the baking sheet and walk to the house.
“Wash your hands because dinner is almost ready.” I walked into the kitchen and plopped the cookie sheet in the center of the table.
“No way, Neenee,” laughs my grandson. “We’re not eating that.”
“No buddy, we aren’t. The restaurant up the road is bringing us their fresh catch of the day. They felt bad that they caught all the fish in the lake today and the only thing left was aluminum cans.”
Yes, a funny thing happened: Life.
Oh how I wish I had understood in my youth that humor is the best Band-aid for so many day-to-day life happens moments.
Just for Today Prayer:
Jesus, life happens and not always as planned, but even then, those unplanned moments are purposely designed by you. It offers us an opportunity to grow in you in humorous ways we never thought possible. Remind me that,
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)