10. Thought

I feel that I am journeying onwards into what is unknown to me, but into something which is inevitably there, and not to be altered by my own hopes and fancies. It is like taking a voyage, the pleasure of which is that the sights in store are unexpected and novel; for a voyage would be a very poor thing if we knew exactly what lay ahead, and poorer still if we could determine beforehand what we meant to see, and could only behold the pictures of our own imaginations. That is the charm and the use of experience, that it is not at all what we expect or hope. It is in some ways sadder and darker; but it is in most ways far more rich and wonderful and radiant than we had dreamed.

 

— Benson, Thought, Joyous Gard

 

When things don’t go as you’d planned, how do you feel? Disappointed, I imagine. But sometimes things actually turn out better than the way you’d planned, don’t they? It’s then that you probably find yourself happy that the world really didn’t respond with the answer of your expectations.

 

I remember one time when unusual and hard circumstances nearly forced us to cancel a trip that had been planned for many months, a trip that I was eagerly anticipating. As it happened, however, our present difficulties passed and we were able to make the trip after all, only we had to leave town much later than we would have liked. Oddly enough, arriving at our destination then late in the evening helped us to avoid a particularly difficult decision about our accommodations. The grace which seemed to have reopened the opportunity for us to go at all was also sullied with the difficulty that delayed our departure and delivered us to our destination in perfect time.

 

Day 10 Guide

 

That is the charm and the use of experience, that it is not at all what we expect or hope. It is in some ways sadder and darker; but it is in most ways far more rich and wonderful and radiant than we had dreamed.

 

The experience of life is to be seen by the light of retrospect. Look back to witness the perfect timing of God’s grace.

 

© 2006, Levi Hill

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