Changing Joseph's Life (Updated 1/30): Goal Met!
At the Scholarship Interview

Hold It Up To the Light

Sun “To the child of God, there is no such thing as an accident. He travels an appointed way. Accidents may indeed appear to befall him and misfortune stalk his way, but these evils will be so in appearance only and will seem evils only because we cannot read the secret script of God’s hidden providence and so cannot discover the ends at which He aims…The man of true faith may live in the absolute assurance that his steps are ordered by the Lord. For him, misfortune is outside the bounds of possibility. He cannot be torn from this earth one hour ahead of the time which God has appointed, and he cannot be detained on earth one moment after God is done with him here.”

(A.W. Tozer)

Accidents?  Wrong turns in life?  Bad karma?  I like to say that if you seek after God you can't go wrong, that even if you make a decision that appears to be wrong, then all paths lead back to the way you are on so that, in retrospect, it doesn't seem wrong at all but in fact all a part of right.  Did you get that?

Maybe you applied to one college, somehow got in and enrolled there, all because your high school girlfriend happened to already be there and you were worried she was seeing other guys and cheating on you out at the disco under the mirrorball every night while you languished in twelfth grade with Mrs. Gervase who taught Russian history by reading out of a book until she got frustrated with you and let you alone, and then when you get there (to college, that is), your girlfriend drops you for a med student who is just too nice to hate.  You say, "Best thing that ever happened to me," right?  Nope.  And yet what seems so wrong turns so right when you meet the woman who would become your wife about the same time.

Or maybe you got caught dumping that sorry weekly newspaper in the sewer drains, cheating your employer, because you got tired of walking your stubby 12-year old legs up and down the asphalt, getting yelled at by people who didn't want the paper and chased by dogs and threatened by Brad Bullah the neighborhood bully, and you just got sick and tired of all that and decided to dump the papers because nobody cared about them anyway and you were just sick and tired of it all (did I say that).  And you got caught.  You had to pay back all the money you made.  You say, "That was great. Best thing that ever happened to me." Right?  Nope.  But who knows.  It may have saved you from a life of crime, or at least from being a slack stockroom employee who lays around most of the time and plays video games.  And maybe that oh so bad thing that happened and cost you your not too hard earned money (including your coin collection) and embarrassed you and got you grounded for weeks ends up leading to your reformation, to preventing you from leading a life of crime.  You even become a lawyer, even an honest one. Go figure. It could happen, couldn't it?

Now maybe you had a bunch of sisters and no brothers growing up and you wondered where was the justice in that what with them dressing you up like a girl before you knew any better and having you play with dolls before you got your man card, girls always yakking about boys and makeup and what other girls were wearing and all that, and scratching you with those extra long fingernails and saying they'd tell Daddy on you and then looking all moon-eyed and sweet when the belt came out.  And you'd say "Great life.  Piece of cake living with all these women."  Right?  Nope.   But maybe you got in touch with your feminine side, or something (yech) or, more realistically, maybe you learned enough about women that you weren't such a horse's behind (pardon my french) when you grew up and started dating and by the time you got married were fully acculturated to the opposite gender, washing dishes and doing laundry and able to manage conversation with a gaggle of girls like the best.  Well, that's good, that's good from bad, right?

But then worse than all that is that maybe your Dad died when you were 13 and you wondered what you were supposed to do about that.  You went out and lay on top of his car and watched the stars and your friend came over and said he was sorry and watched the stars too.  And then you both got up and took a walk around the neighborhood together just like nothing ever happened and in a couple days even went back to school.  You said "Best thing that ever happened to me.  Tough, but I'm sure it's for my good." Nope, you didn't say that.  And decades later you still don't say that.  And yet sometimes, you catch just a glimmer of how even that was good, though you can't quite say "good," because being dead was just not in the plan, His plan, and yet here it is.  And you can't quite say it was good, but you begin to see something underneath it all, like invisible ink, a secret code of good, if you hold it up to the light just right.  You might just begin to read the good story hidden in that sorry tale.

And one day you might just be able to say, "Look at what He did.  Just look at that.  Would you ever have thought. . ."  Now can you believe that? Can you?