Going Wrong

You know by now if you’ve been reading my posts for a while that I constantly wonder about things.

Here’s my latest.

Is going ‘wrong’, only going ‘right in disguise’? Is it possible that I am misperceiving a situation and that I’m just not far enough down the road to realize the ‘rightness’ involved?

Maybe I would be served by standing back a bit and asking myself, “is it true or just my perception of the truth”?

Perhaps it would help if I took a brief inventory of the facts. Or recognized that what I might consider to be mistakes are just segways, not ends to themselves.

Another thought jumps in and joins the party.

How do I define wrong? From what point of view? From what chronological reference? Do I base it on my own thoughts or what I perceive to be my cultural training? Or am I starting from an ideal, so that any deviation becomes a problem?

The narrower my definition, the harder it is for me to consider things as being right and the easier for them to be wrong. Either way can be a slippery slope.

As is so often the case, I searched for an example or two, hoping to provide myself with some clarity. Fortunately, two good examples spring to mind that I thought I’d share with you. Perhaps they will spark some insight as you think about your own life.

The very first event in my life that felt ‘wrong’ in every way was when my parents told my sister and me that we were moving from Watertown to Delmar, New York. Immediately I realized my whole world would be tipped upside down. I wouldn’t get to see all of my friends, go to the same school, know how to get anywhere and a host of other upsetting things.

There was no way I was interested in changing my life. How could they just up and move us 185 miles away from where I wanted to be? More maddening still, I did not even have a vote. They decided and it was done.

I don’t know if you ever had to leave a place you wanted to stay, but it’s a hard thing and it felt truly ‘wrong’ to me.

But here’s where some time and distance becomes a key.

Were it not for moving, I would never have met my amazing, wonderful wife. And without her in my life, we would not have our two incredible, joyful children. And without our children, we would not have our delightful, gorgeous grandchildren.

And the list of blessings spirals out in all directions, other family members, friends, church life, our house. I would have none of these beautiful things in my life.

In light of this, how could I ever think my parents’ decision to move my sister and me was wrong?

My other example is also obvious to me, once I step away for a better view.

My job was eliminated. I had not planned on retiring for another couple of years and I wasn’t ready to leave, but I wasn’t given a choice. I was told I was done, no longer employed! It was a crushing blow, especially the way it was done. It felt ‘wrong’ to me.

But it opened doors for me. I had the opportunity to join my wife in babysitting our two local grandchildren. I consider this to be my favorite, most rewarding, best of all possible careers. To spend quality time with them has been a sheer delight and something I will remember forever.

Again, I had to ask myself, how could this event in my life have been ‘wrong’ when I have loved it so much? My answer is simple. The happenings to me were not wrong, they were just the right things wearing a disguise that took time to see through. I only needed to shift my perspective a little and see the clarity that was there all along

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