The Worst Thing That Could Happen Is Usually The Best
Lori, my wife the professional photographer, had mistakenly booked a photo session that overlapped with her commitment to lead a business meeting. What happened was, she got a fill for the meeting on the wrong day. Now stuck having to lead the meeting, she couldn’t believe she made such a stupid mistake.
The photo session she booked was for her to photograph a two-year-old’s birthday party. When covering a child’s birthday, the photographer must be on time to capture the scheduled itinerary of events. So the stress was severe. How could Lori possibly make it on time? Her business meeting was further away from the party’s location than our home. In addition, the meeting was scheduled to end within minutes of the party's start. So, Lori asked if I could help out by acting as her assistant and showing up to the party on time with her second camera. This way if she was running late, I could reassure the client of Lori’s arrival and, having assisted her in the past, cover the event until she arrived.
So that being the plan, the day of the event Lori headed off to her meeting. I printed up my map on Mapquest. The location was just eighteen miles away from our home but just to be safe I gave myself an hour to get there. It was Sunday, the skies were blue, the sun shining, the roads were clear and I zipped onto the freeway. I turned up the radio and I was on my way to save the day for Lori! The freeway was clear as I had predicted. Traveling along at 65mph plus, I was already enjoying the Starbuck’s I imagined I’d have more than enough time to treat myself to.
Within just ten minutes travel time, I was already past the halfway mark!
Then after a curve in the freeway I hit a wall of traffic. No big deal, I reassured myself that I had more than enough time, I’m more than half way there, and I am sure it’ll open up soon. Ten minutes later and less than a mile traveled, I kept my cool by reminding myself that, nothing happens by mistake, divine order prevails, and I’ll get there right when I am supposed to. I can do without a Starbuck’s.
Another ten minutes, still inching along and unable to see any clearing ahead, I decided to keep busy by listening to messages and returning calls. This kept me occupied for another ten minutes but only one more mile. Realizing that the party was starting in just ten minutes and with seven more miles to go in this traffic, I could not deny it any longer; there was no way I would be there on time. My concern began to grow into worry, so I reassured myself by repeating my affirmations from the preceding paragraph. Then it hit me! What about Lori?! I hope she is not behind me in this nightmare. If she is, then she will be counting on my already being at the party, which I am not!
I was apprehensive to call her, afraid she would be stuck in traffic too and extremely upset with herself. If that was the case then I knew once she heard that I wasn’t going to be on time either… well, I’ll be nice and say, it wasn’t going to be good for me. I held on to the desperate belief that the traffic would miraculously part. Of course it didn’t. So, I bit the bullet and called Lori. While the phone was ringing I was rehearsing how I was going to explain that I left with over an hour ahead of the call time and that there was no accounting for this traffic. She answered, “Hello?”
With great trepidation, “Lori?”
“How close are you?”
I spit it out quickly, like tearing off a Band-aid, “I’m stopped dead in traffic, still downtown…, I think they closed off the highway.”
“That’s OK, I’m here already.”
“What? Really? You are? Oh that’s good, I thought you were stuck in this traffic behind me.”
“No, because I had to go to my meeting I was forced to take a different route. Can you believe that?”
“That’s great, because if you didn’t have to go to that meeting and left from home you would have been stuck in this traffic and late, like me.”
“I know; we have to remember this the next time there is something that seems to be getting in the way.”
“That’s right. Isn’t it amazing? Nothing happens by mistake.”
Something to remember for sure, cause whenever there seems to be an unavoidable obstacle it is usually there for our own good. Some consider it as, God, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Makes sense, since being forced to go a direction you feel to be upsetting to your plans instead turns out to be a blessing. The best thing learned from these repeated divine detours is that enventually they help us let go of fighting obstacles by whining, “Why is this happening to me?”, and instead enthusiastically exclaim, “Why is this happening for me?!”
You may be thinking, yeah, well, that was a great lesson, Fusaro, but you were stuck in traffic and for no good reason at all. Well here’s the rest of the story. The traffic did eventually open up, and even though Lori was at the party and it was no longer necessary for me to show up, I decided to do so anyway. I was so enthusiastic about how it all worked out so far, why stop now? When I finally made it to the party, Lori’s big bright smile lit up as soon as she saw me walking in and then the birthday girl’s parents offered me what turned out to be the best coconut cupcake I ever ate. Obviously, nothing, absolutely nothing, happens by mistake.