I was cleaning out the small college refrigerator in our classroom for the weekend, throwing out someone’s wrinkled tangerine and a few stray ketchup packets. Inside the door, I spied my travel-size bottle of coffee creamer. It was half-full. Cool, I’ll have creamer for Monday.
But, over the weekend, we received the news that Arizona schools would be closed due to the virus-that-we-will-not-name.
My job situation had changed in less than forty-eight hours.
We hear about an aircraft making an emergency landing when there is an imminent threat to the safety of those aboard. Wherever the passengers thought they were headed when they boarded the flight, they didn't end up there. There was a forced diversion from their plans and their intended location. Admittedly, no one is probably very happy about being “knocked off course,” so to speak, but they are indisputably grateful when they finally land safely.
We all have big plans on the vision boards of our lives. I’m going to pay my house off in five years. Or, I’m going to earn my college degree before I’m twenty-one. Take this from the girl who needed eleven years to finish her college degree: Life doesn’t always go as predicted.
There are a lot of “emergency landings” in our lives. We start off with a clear destination in mind, spread our wings for flight, and are unexpectedly intercepted mid-flight by a cancer diagnosis, the loss of a job, a failed relationship, a pandemic-causing virus … you get the point.
You are hurting. You are frustrated. You feel shelved.
But after the cloud of dust settles from your unintentional landing back to Earth, take a step back and look around. Is there a possibility that you’ve landed in a better place? Are you stronger and better equipped to take to the skies the next time?
Or maybe you have discovered that you've been heading in the wrong direction the whole time.