“It is hard to tell our bad luck from our good luck sometimes.”
– Merle Shain
Situations that first seem “bad” can turn out to be “good” in some way. By the same token, sometimes situations that seem positive may turn out to give us challenges.
One of my touchstones for hope and faith is a Chinese story that offers wisdom about this:
Long ago there was a farmer who lost his favorite horse. Besides helping the farmer with his work, the mare was like a friend. One day she wandered away. The old man searched but couldn’t find her. His neighbors went out to look too. When the horse could not be found, the neighbors tried to console the farmer. “We are sorry that this bad fortune happened to you,” they said.
The farmer smiled and replied, “Thank you for helping me search for my horse and for your condolences, but we shall see. Bad fortune? Who knows? Things are always changing.”
A few weeks later the horse returned. With her walked a strong stallion.
“Good fortune!” said the neighbors.
“The farmer again said, “We shall see.”
In time the mare gave birth to a foal. “Good fortune!” said the neighbors.
The farmer simply smiled.
A few months later, the man’s son broke his leg while trying to ride the untamed young horse.
“Oh, bad fortune!” said the neighbors.
“We shall see,” said the farmer.
The son’s leg soon began to heal.
“Good fortune,” said the neighbors.
The farmer smiled.
In time the son walked again but with a slight limp.
“Oh, too bad. Bad fortune,” said the neighbors.
“We shall see,” said the farmer, smiling, of course.
A year later a terrible war began. Most young men were called to serve. Many never returned. Because the farmer’s son walked with a limp, he was considered unfit to be a soldier. He stayed on the farm and survived to live a long life.
May we trust what is unfolding.