A grandfather was attempting to impress upon his grandchildren that things were not always as they appeared. “When I was your age,” he began, “my daddy raised a beautiful, large vegetable garden. We would sell the produce at a small roadside stand that we built ourselves. My parents always bought their chickens from Willy Scott. One day, while our family was working at the vegetable stand, Willy delivered chickens to our house in a crate and left them on our doorstep. When we returned home that evening we discovered the chickens had escaped and were running all over the yard. Each of us began chasing the chickens and putting them back in the crate. Dad was upset and decided to call Willy to express his unhappiness with the situation. I can still remember Dad telling Willy he didn’t think it was a very good idea to leave the chickens in a crate unattended while we were gone. He told Willy how the family had to round-up chickens from all over the neighborhood and we were only able to find eleven. Then Willy shocked my dad.”“Eleven chickens isn’t too bad,” exclaimed Willy, “I only delivered six!”
The story, above, is from one of my favorite books, “Speaker’s Sourcebook II: Quotes, Stories, & Anecdotes for Every Occasion,” by Glenn Van Ekeren. Can you imagine the look on the dad’s face? – I’m sure the scowl softened into a smile pretty fast. We’ve all been in his shoes before, right? Something will come along and we’re convinced that fate has kicked us harder than it’s ever kicked anyone. Then, just as we’re in the process of getting what my grandmother always referred to as “worked up,” we realize that fate didn’t kick us. It kissed us.
Someone once said that opportunities are like roses – they often come with thorns on them. The same is true of blessings. They’re very fond of entering our lives in disquise….just a little game they like to play.
It’s kind of like having children. When I got pregnant with my first daughter, I thought I was smack in the middle of the most unpleasant experience in the world (morning sickness – all day for 9 months, leg cramps, horrible back pain, etc. ). Then the labor came and I knew I was in an inner circle of hell! Then…..when they handed me this unbelievably beautiful little baby girl with the biggest, bluest eyes in the world – I knew my life would never be the same.By the time beautiful number 2 and beautiful number 3 came along I knew that the horrors would be completely forgotten as soon as I had my baby in my arms. Think back over your own life. Some of the best things that ever happened to you may have made an ugly entrance. Maybe they stumbled onto the platform, but rocked your world once they got to center stage. Sometimes it’s best to remember these things, so the next time something ugly comes our way we can ask, “What kind of beauty lies beneath that beast?”
Looking for the good in every bad is, from a self help standpoint, priceless.
***The picture at the top of the post is in honor of the chickens in the story. It’s just nutty and quirky enough to make me smile everytime I look at it. It’s the One Hundred Chickens and a Worm Art Print and can be found at All Posters.