Last weekend my family and I went on a day trip that involved driving past an area where a wildfire had recently burned. This same fire destroyed a number of homes, cabins, and other buildings. Among the structures burned was my dad’s cabin.
For my dad and step-mom, this was more than the loss of a beloved vacation spot. It was a place they’d built by hand, from the ground up, with more than fifteen years of weekends and days off dedicated to the creation of the beautiful family getaway. And it was truly, truly beautiful.
As we drove, the areas most affected by the fire were apparent by the blackened stumps and skeletons of trees. But I was surprised to see that even though so much had been burned, there were many places in which we could distinctly see green grass shoots poking through the dark ground.
It reminded me that the cabin is just a place. And while it was a place that meant a lot to my parents, they’re already drafting plans to rebuild. There is nothing left on their property. Not a single tree or plant or building footing. They see this as a chance to start over and do things better the second time. A blank slate. Not a lot of people have opportunities like that.
Bad things happen. They happen to EVERYONE. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe or how you act or how hard you try to be the best person you can be—bad things sometimes happen. To all of us. And it’s up to us to decide how we’ll react to those things. If we’ll let them mold us into better, stronger people, or if we’ll let them knock us down, stomp us into the ground to become bitter, angry, and miserable.
When bad things happen, what parts of you will rise out of the ashes?