An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.-G.K. Chesterton
Doesn’t it all come down to our perspective, the ways we see things? While there are situations in which even the people with the brightest perspectives can have a hard time seeing the positive side (sicknesses, crimes, etc.), Chesterton here is talking about inconveniences, not tragedies. We all face inconveniences every day, and it’s pretty much our choice how we respond to them.
Getting stuck in a traffic jam can be a terrible inconvenience, for example, but it can also be a very good time to get some quiet time to yourself. And it may make you late for work, but it’s not like one can get fired for something so far out of one’s own control. When I get stuck because of construction, I like to put on some good music and relax and enjoy the time I have to myself.
A good friend lost his job of many years a few years ago. Rather than bemoan his fate, he and his wife packed up and moved out west, bought themselves a nice place to live, and are enjoying their new lives immensely right now, never suffering through the harsh New England winters anymore. A huge inconvenience was turned into the opportunity of a lifetime for them.
A terrible new boss can be the catalyst to change jobs to something that you like better. A new highway being built right next to your backyard could be the sign you need to move to a new neighborhood or even a new town. It’s all in our perspective, the way we see life, and the things that life gives to us. Obstacle or opportunity? It’s up to us, isn’t it?
Of course, this brings up another question: how many of the “opportunities” that come our way are actually obstacles?
Questions to ponder:
1. Can you think of instances when seeming obstacles turned out to be very positive?
2. What can make us fail to see the opportunity in what seem to be obstacles?
3. Why do we tend to avoid facing obstacles and looking for the best in them?
For further thought:
When you fall in a river, you’re no longer a fisherman; you’re a swimmer.-Gene Hill