I'm not sure if it's me or if most everyone has noticed that we are living in a world filled with negative voices all around us.
As I sat in the midst of colleagues and friends the other day I couldn't help but notice that nearly every person in the room had a complaint about something. Don't get me wrong, I too have days when unplanned events happen in my life interupting my plans, turning positives into uncertaintly and simply days when I wonder if I went back to bed and started my day over if it would be any better. However, sitting there among all the negativity, words of wisdom from my papaw given to me many years ago rang out loud and clear in my thoughts.
I felt compelled to share these words with them as well as a recent unexpected negative event that had interupted my life. I wanted to share with them how I have learned to work through and overcome the negative thoughts, the desire to rant and rave, and complaints that try to consume me as well. I explained to my friends — who now wore blank expressions — how I begin to count my blessings and search for a positive in each negative thing that happens. I shared with them a very recent example.
A couple of nights ago while I was traveling home from a book signing at our local library, I had my granddaughter with me and we were discussing the events of the evening. All seemed well with the world. All was well until an enormous 10-point buck ran from the side of the road and slammed into my jeep. The incident was inevitable as I was meeting a car and a car was behind me as well. I pulled off the road to ensure that my 7-year-old granddaughter was OK, check myself and assess the damage to my jeep.
Thankfully we were both OK, but my jeep was mangled and the poor deer had lost its life. I stood there in the dark sizing up the situation when a car pulled off the road and a young man got out and ask if we were OK. As it turns out he was the driver behind me. He explained that he hated the accident had happened but was grateful that it hadn't been him as he was in a very small car that he drove to deliver pizza, and he only had liability insurance. I thanked him for stopping to check on us, ensuring that my jeep would make the trip home.
We were quiet the remainder of the drive home. I began to thank God for keeping his hand of mercy upon my granddaughter and myself and for keeping the young man whom was behind me safe as well. We made it home safely and I called my insurance company, dread engulfed me as I was placed on hold to wait for a claims agent. As I sat nervously in my kitchen the wise words of my papaw once again rang in my ears, I began to search for the positive. I knew one of the positive things was that my granddaughter and I were both spared as well as the pizza delivery man…but was there more?
The insurance agent was very friendly asking if I was OK and gathering all the details about the accident. Through our conversation I realized that this accident would not negatively affect my insurance, that I would be eligible for a loaner while my jeep was being repaired and that I could choose the garage to do the work for me. I called a friend who had done work for me before and was greeted with a big thank you and the following words, “Praise the Lord…He surely knew that we needed the work!”
So, I found more than one positive in the unexpected incident that had inconvenienced my life. No one was hurt, it could have been worse, the deer was donated to a neighbor who lived near the accident and turned into venison for their family, my jeep is being repaired, my insurance was not affected and the man who is repairing my jeep will have much needed Christmas money for his family. Yes, my papaw was right…the Lord can take a bad situation and work it to His good and provide in more ways than one!
Many of my friends and colleagues didn't even know about the accident and thought that I had bought a new car. I believe my story and my papaw's words of wisdom made an impact on some of my friends and colleagues as I have heard more than one comment about finding a positive in every negative, and the complaints during lunch are fewer these days.