Difficult Times – Bad Luck Good Luck Fable (Apr 2008)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 10, 2008 
Good coming from bad situations.  Bad Luck Good Luck Chinese Fable
Good miserable, overcast, gloomy, rainy morning!  If that sun doesn’t pop out soon our morel mushrooms don’t stand a chance.  Rain rain go away, Come again another day!
I have been thinking this week about a short Chinese fable I read last year.  Some of you may have already seen this, but I know you’ll like to read it again if you have.  This is about good that may come of a bad situation.  Reminds me of the quote from a previous e-mail, Barns burnt down, now I can see the moon.  You know your personal compositions of your own songs.  If you are in a minor movement right now, keep on playing…for there may be a beautiful movement on the next page, in the next chapter of your life.  And maybe some of the beauty that you can not foresee is only possible because of your pain.  Specific friends that you will intimately know, learning the reality of what peace from God is, realizing the strength you didn’t know you had and then the courage you will have for your next unforeseen chapter. 
Anne Lindbergh wrote in one of her diaries the deepest pain she felt was when she thought she lost her faith (after the murder of her child).  So the peace that came when she realized how deep her faith was, after she knew the reality of God’s presence in her life, that was a gift from her pain – she realized the treasure of her God never forsaking her. 
Bad Luck, Good Luck Chinese Fable

An elderly Chinese peasant farmer had a horse that he loved very much and depended on for almost everything.  In the spring when it was time to plant, the farmer would hitch a plow to the horse and break the land.  When the fall harvest would come in, the farmer would hitch the horse to a wagon and take his produce to the market to sell.  Whenever the farmer had a distance to travel, he would put a saddle on the horse and ride it.  Every day in one way or another, this beloved horse was a big and dramatic part of the farmer's life.  Then one afternoon a bee stung the horse on its neck; the horse went into a panic and ran away.  The farmer ran after the horse as it ran off into the hills, but, of course, the farmer couldn't catch up with the frightened animal.  So at sunset, the farmer had to trudge back home and tell his wife that his beloved horse had run away.  Now, they lived in a small provincial village; and so, quickly the word spread that the farmer had lost his horse.  For the next several days, whenever the farmer met any of his neighbors, they would say, "Sure sorry to hear about your bad luck in losing your horse," and he would just shrug his shoulders and say, "Bad luck, good luck, who's to say?"
Well, lo and behold, six days later his horse returned from the mountains with five wild horses that it had met.  The farmer was able to corral all six of the horses and, of course, word spread quickly throughout the village.  For the next several days, whenever he met anybody, they say, "Sure glad to hear about your good luck getting all those horses." The farmer would just shrug his shoulders and respond, Good luck, bad luck, who's to say?" 
The farmer's son was excited about their new horses.  He quickly began to try to break them so that his family could sell them for a big profit.  But one of the horses bucked him off, and the son's leg was broken in three places.  Word spread through the little village; and so for the next several days, they would say, "Sure sorry to hear about your bad luck, your boy getting hurt." Again, the farmer would just shrug his shoulders and respond, "Bad luck, good luck; who's to say?" 
Two weeks later, a war broke out between the city states of interior China.  The army came through conscripting every able-bodied male under the age of fifty to go and fight, and, of course, the farmer's son would have been in that category had the accident not happened.  Because he had a broken leg, he didn't have to go, and that turned out to be very fortuitous because every villager who was conscripted wound up being killed in the war.  And the old farmer said, "Good luck, bad luck, who's to say?"
I like that story so much because it reminds us that there are so many things we do not know.  There are so many times in life when God can take something that seems so bad and, by the miracle of God’s grace, turn it into something good.  The story reminds us that sometimes what looks like our worst day can turn out to be our best day.  (unknown author).  Have a week where you let your mind rest.  Write down each day what you need to do, write down (and then shred if you want to) what your exact emotions are.  Then take on your day.  Make yourself proud of your actions. 
My short morning prayer is, Lord, use my hands, that they touch with gentleness; use my words that they bring comfort, joy, kindness; use my mind that what I think about is pure and edifying.  Use my life today to do what you need me to do.  Such an easy prayer, but when I remember to pray those words, the day is no longer out of my control.  For the basics I have taken the time to remember.  Fall to your knees.  Peace is waiting for you.  Look up to the heavens.  God is there.  Thank you for letting me come into your Thursdays.  May you find peace today.  Thank you for your encouragement and support for our little store.  You have no idea what your business does to help us continue to grow.  Susan