What do you do when something unexpected happens?
I like to know what to expect. I am not an obsessive planner, but I like to have a good idea of what is coming. But that is not always possible. Once something happens that you were not expecting, how you handle what comes next can make a big difference.
What to Do?
Let’s say you have something rather big happen, such as some damage from a storm (more about that in another post). What do you do? Here are some possibilities:
- Shut down completely and don’t do anything
- Blame God for having it out for you for something you have done in the past
- Blame Satan for having it out for you for something you have done in the past
- Call your closest family members and friends to tell them what happened
- Post about it on social media saying that everything is okay
- Post about it on social media blaming God or Satan
- Be angry and throw things around
- Start to find a solution to get things back to how they need to be, whether that is how they were before or something different
As you can probably guess, some of those possibilities are better than others. There are several of those that you should definitely not pursue. But there are also a few good things in that list, too. There may not be one right answer for what you should do next, but there are quite a few wrong answers. And so often, those wrong answers are a big temptation.
Maybe we feel wronged, and we are looking for “revenge” or “justice”. I put those in quotes because they can mean different things to different people. But neither one is the right solution in cases like this. When something happens to you, don’t try to take it out on others. Just look for ways to take care of whatever you are facing.
So how do you be prepared for what you don’t know is coming? Answer: You don’t.
You can, however, be prepared to accept what you don’t know is coming. Yes, that is not as easy as it sounds. But if you have a plan, you can be prepared.
First, don’t overreact. Don’t freak out. Don’t feel like it is the end of the world, because it most likely is not. And if it is the actual end of the world, then it is not just affecting you, but everyone. There is nothing wrong with being emotional, but don’t let that emotion get out of control. When our barn roof blew off, I was upset, because I did not know when or how we would be able to replace it. But the next day, we got started on getting things taken care of.
Second, find someone to help. I was upset, but Laura pointed out all of the good things, such as that the animals were not hurt and the house did not have any damage. Surrounding yourself with people like that will help to keep your focus on the positive things. Change your outlook, and let people help you do it.
Third, get busy. Do what you can to fix the problem, if it can be fixed. That will take your mind off of things, and that will help to make things better because you are taking care of the situation. Or, if the problem can’t be fixed, get busy doing something else. Find something you can do to help others. If you can’t do something for yourself, focus your energy on helping others.
And finally, understand what is really important. And know what is really not that big of a deal. As Christians, we know that this world is not the ultimate end. All of these things are only temporary. It really isn’t the end of the world. If we focus on our ultimate goal, we know that these small difficulties will not get the best of us. They are just things along our path.
Expect the Unexpected
I have always wanted to know what is coming next, especially in my younger days. But I have learned over and over again that you can’t always know what is coming, and life is not always predictable. The unexpected is waiting just around the corner. But that does not have to be a bad thing.
Expect the unexpected, and you can make it through.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33