Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hidden Blessings

Some of you might be aware that my 12-year-old son is now on his fourth day trying to leave Italy and get back home. Because of flight delays and cancellations which have made it impossible for him to make his connection, and given that he is an unaccompanied minor, the airline has refused until today to board him until they were sure he could have proper supervision during layovers. This situation has caused everyone a lot of frustration, but in the end, we will never know if all he went through happened for a reason unknown to us. When I mentioned that to someone, yesterday, they said: ‘Well, the flight he was initially scheduled to be on reached destination without incidents, so I can’t imagine what the reason would be.”

Truth is that things aren’t always what they seem. Yes, the flight arrived – even if late -- but what if we had gone somewhere after his arrival and something happened then? Of course, that’s just a supposition, but I deeply believe that many situations are averted every day without us even knowing. 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. 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. Going through this ordeal reminded me of a story someone e-mailed me some time ago, so I am including it in this post.

“Two angels were traveling the country, occasionally seeking food and shelter during their journey. They came upon a very poor farm, and 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 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.” ~Author unknown

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 or the most annoying occurrence may hold the seed of our greatest blessing.