The Union Recorder

December 4, 2013

HODGES: Sometimes it doesn’t work out

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Thanksgiving week was supposed to have been so much fun this year, but it didn’t work out. Linda and I were going to go to Cape San Blas, Fla. for a couple of days to camp, hike, fish and bike before we went on down to Springhill, Fla. to spend Thanksgiving Day with her sister and brother-in-law. We did get to the Cape, but it was raining and the wind was blowing at about 25 mph. Monday night was pretty miserable and Tuesday was not shaping up so good. I was all ready to fish in the surf, but it was too dangerous to get near the water.

So, instead of spending the day there, we called Sharon and told her we were on our way a day early. Springhill is a nice place, and they live on a golf course. It could have been great, but when I got up Thursday morning I bent over to pick up a sock, and my back went into very painful muscle spasms, which are only going away now as I write this. When my back muscles spasm, I can hardly move. The drive home to Milledgeville on Friday was not much fun.

Haven’t you looked forward to something just knowing it was going to be a lot of fun, and then it turned out badly?

Some things are never going to live up to expectations. I have never preached a sermon but what afterward I have said, “Why didn’t I say this…?” or “I should have emphasized this more….” I can always think of something I could have done better.

The enjoyment of a great meal rarely ever meets the expectations when being prepared. I love fixing grits and eggs, but I can hardly remember ever fixing them when I could say, “These are exactly as they should be.” They are too salty or not salted enough, too coarse or they are lumpy.

Some things in life just go wrong, and there is nothing you could do or could have done to have made them better. I could not have made it stop raining in Florida, nor could I have made it warmer (there was frost on the ground Thanksgiving morning - that is just not right). I don’t think I could have done anything about the muscle spasms in my back. Those things just happened, and you have to live with them.

But how you react to them can make an amazing difference in the quality of your life. I heard it said, “You can get bitter or you can get better.”

For some people, life is all about them, and when things go wrong, they believe their world just falls apart, that life is against them. I know too many drama queens/kings who look at life that way. The whole universe seems to conspire to ruin their lives when something actually simple goes wrong.

“Life is what happens after you make your plans.” I can tell you that, having lived this long, all kinds of things will go differently than you plan. It is just the way it is.

I could have pouted about Thanksgiving week, but then I would have missed some wonderful things that happened. Coincidentally some friends of ours were at Cape San Blas the same time we were, and they came over to visit, bringing a bright spot in a dreary day. Thanksgiving dinner was a wonderful treat made even better when some of Bob’s family came to enjoy the day with us. To listen to and watch Linda and her sister enjoy themselves as they prepared the meal was just delightful. They had so much fun doing things together that day. There were stories to tell, and laughter filled the house.

Sometimes things just go wrong, but when we know this is likely to happen, we can still look for the things that go right and enjoy them just as well. Your plans might not work out just like you wanted, but God has an interesting way of making things even better than we had planned - if we look for it.

Dr. Jay Hodges can be reached at