Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hidden Blessings

“Two angels were traveling the country, occasionally seeking food and shelter during their journey. They stopped at an opulent mansion, and asked if they could have shelter for the night. The owner let them in, and told them they could make a bed on the floor in the cold basement. As they prepared to turn in, the older Angel noticed a hole in the wall and repaired it. The next day they left the mansion and continued their journey. They came upon a very poor farm, and once again they asked for shelter. The farmer and his wife shared the little food they had, and offered their bed so the tired strangers could sleep comfortably. Early after the sun had risen, the two Angels were awakened by the farmer and his wife weeping. Their only cow, whose milk was their sole wealth, had died during the night. The younger Angel became angry, and asked the older spirit why he would help a rich man by fixing his wall but would let this poor man’s cow die. The older Angel replied: “Things aren’t always as they seem. When we were down in the basement, I saw gold hidden behind the wall, so I patched the hole to hide the fortune away from the greedy owner. Last night, while we were sleeping, I saw the Angel of Death coming for the farmer’s wife. I asked him to take the cow instead.”

When anything unpleasant occurs, it is always very difficult to see the hidden blessings.
The people whose alarms didn’t work - or whose cars broke down - the morning of 9/11, were probably very angry, and didn’t realize their fortune until they heard what happened.
Most often the hidden blessings are something that we will never even recognize for what they are. We may misplace our car keys and spend thirty minutes looking for them. Meanwhile, thanks to that delay we might have missed getting into a traffic accident.
We may be upset because we haven’t been hired for a job position we wanted; yet, if we had, we might have missed a better opportunity that was right around the corner.
As all gifts, blessings come in many packages. Some are very obvious and colorful, while some others are so subtle that we don't even recognize them for what they are.
Each moment in our lives is a perfect moment, whether we do or don’t realize its value. Through our experiences we grow, learn, become better people; for some, the most meaningful gifts have come from the difficult moments they have survived.
As we are reminded by the older Angel, things aren’t always as they seem. Even the worst tragedy may hold the seed of our greatest blessing.