Friday, I had planned to go to my high school homecoming game. Then, I developed tendinitis in my right shoulder that made it a bad idea to drive 70 miles to Reseda. This was the second time I had to cancel reunion plans in the past few months. Our family was supposed to meet my brother and his friends in El Segundo. Then, we got the first tropical storm in Southern California in decades.
This proves the old saying, “People plan, and God laughs.”
It isn’t always funny when God laughs. I know people who went through serious medical emergencies this year. A fellow Black Rose Writing author was talking to me over Messenger about some writing questions she had. A few weeks later, she passed away.
But it isn’t always bad news when God laughs. If I didn’t go through the difficulties I had when I was younger, I wouldn’t have the life I have today. I became a grandfather unexpectedly, and I got to experience a joy my parents didn’t live long enough to see. So many of the good things we have come from chance, fortunate timing, or hesitating long enough to avoid making a disastrous choice. God’s laughter brings unexpected treasures and grief.
When you realize God laughs, you gain important perspectives. You aren’t in control. You can’t get exactly what you want when you want it. You learn to set priorities, make compromises, and accept good over perfect. To make it through life, you need to be humble, flexible, and adaptable. That’s what has gotten me through many challenges in life.
The goal isn’t to be the master of our fate, but to learn to use what fate throws at us to get where we want to go. It won’t always be a straight path, and we must often choose a different direction. While we should always be clear on our goals and determine the steps to get us there, don’t assume things will work exactly as you expect them. People plan, and God laughs. We should learn to laugh with God.