You Just Never Know

Rays of light behind an ocean storm known as God rays


You just never really never know what’s going to happen next.  And sometimes it’s a good thing.

I was reminded of that fact twice this week as I overstressed about some project deadlines of mine.  Honestly, I am old enough to know better than this, to remember that it’s not so much the situation as it is our attitude about it.

I apparently needed some repeat lessons, because Wednesday, I was wearing myself out with work and unnecessary concern, until about 3:30 PM.  Then I realized there was another meeting to attend. 

It was to meet U.S. Senator Bill Nelson with some of my associates, who were going to explain our business to him.  I almost didn’t attend, because I’m not much taken by people’s titles or grand station in life.  But at the last minute I went, telling myself I needed some kind of mental change of pace. 

And I met the senator – who, I was surprised to learn, was also a former astronaut.  And I got to talk to him for a minute or so, and then watch him as he asked questions and carefully listened to, and comprehended, the answers.

And I liked him and was kind of surprised by the effect of the whole scene.  It had dislodged my brains in a positive way and I walked out of the meeting feeling good.  Gone were my earlier concerns.  And as I headed to my car, I thought, introspectively, “You just never know what’s going to happen next.  Here I walked into work this morning way to full of myself and my problems, and then the day ended by meeting a senator.”

But some of us are slow learners.

Because Thursday morning I was back at it again, stressing more than ever and pumping hard through the tasks of the project to beat the deadline.  Around 4:30, with many major items accomplished I felt a bit better, and decided to leave at 5:00.

Walking out the office, I saw a group of people, about twenty or so, hanging around expectantly like they were waiting for something to happen.

I hadn’t gotten halfway to my car when I heard a noise in the sky and saw the space shuttle Discovery belching a stream of flame as it rocketed up into space.

And I kind of stood there in wonder, watching it for a minute or two until it passed out of sight behind a cloud.

Brains dislodged once more and shaken out of their self centered rut, I felt good again.  Because I had come to work that day all full of my projects and problems, and the day ended with an unexpected rocket launch.

Driving home, as I looked at the sky, I noticed streams of light coming down, the ones that almost look like light curtains.  As a photographer, I know these as God rays.  They were magnificent, and at that moment, I swear I would not have been surprised if a white dove had flown out of them and rested on my shoulder.  I even made a comical remark to myself to this effect.

Because you just never know what will happen next.

The events and contrast I just described for you are rather trivial in the grand scheme of things, but this all works in life too, you know.   Maybe you are going through a bad patch in your life right now and you’re all full of your problems and stressing over them full time.  That’s understandable because it happens to us all from time to time.

But eventually something good is going to happen.  Probability dictates it.  So you should remind yourself of this from time to time.  It could happen in the next minute, or tomorrow, or next week.  You just really never know.

So do everything you can to improve your situation, and then when you can’t think of anything else you can possibly do, I have just one more for you.

And that is to stay in the game.

Because you just never know what will happen next, and sometimes, it’s a good thing.

Have a nice day – J. Daniel

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