Why does bad stuff happen, and why does it seem to come in waves, or bundles, or piles of trouble? Look around the world and you will have to agree. This world seems to be in a constant cycle of chaos, crises and various kinds of confusion. Celebrities die in groups of threes… storms and weather cataclysms seem to come in bunches. Even in our own circles of friends and families we seem to notice that when bad luck hits, the best thing we can do is brace ourselves for rounds 2 and 3 that are soon on their way! It’s like an “aflockalypse.”
Aflockalypse: When all those birds fell out of the sky. Remember? It’s happened in Arkansas, it happened in Oklahoma, in Louisiana, in Sweden & in Australia! Dead birds falling out of the sky for no apparent reason?! Was it aliens? Global warming? Government testing new biological weapons? Whatever it was, it was foul. (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.) But stop and think about it from the bird’s perspective. One minute, they are enjoying the warm sun on their beak, and the brisk wind under their wings… the next minute, it’s a nosedive to the pavement, dead as a Thanksgiving turkey, only smaller, with all the feathers, beak and guts still intact.
Since these events there have been experts, religious leaders, conspiracy nut jobs and guys sitting around the coffee shop who have come up with their own explanations of the “day the birds died”. But I’m not sure the most important thing for us to discover is just what killed the birds. I’m thinking maybe, just maybe what we need to get out of this craziness is one simple truth…
Sometimes weird stuff happens, and life seems to go berserk for no reason.
I know that’s probably too simple minded for some folks. That’s OK with me. But ask anyone you know, and they are likely to bear witness to the same eternal truth. We live in a screwed up world, an although we’d like to find some purpose, intentionality or plan in all of the bad things that happen, it sometimes seems impossible to find. So what do we, what CAN we do?
- Hang on. In the Bible it uses this phrase a number of times- “It came to pass”. Let’s break that down into 2 parts… “It came”; why did it “come”? “To pass”… yes, chaos en masse has overwhelmed your world… but hold on, because “it came, to pass.” When your world is out of control and the circumstances are about to drive you into the dark, moist corners of a cave somewhere to hide, just wait a bit before you pack up the doomsday rations and head out. “It came… WHY? To pass”.
- Find good. Although not everything happens for a reason, something good, positive or beneficial can come out of our negative circumstances if we will just make it happen. Sometimes that means looking for the positive consequences, and sometimes it means taking the lemons that life has pummeled you in the head with, and making lemonade and a lemon pie to go with it! Look for the blessing in the bad, for the victory through the pain. You CAN find it, and you CAN make it happen.
- Reach out. Chances are you aren’t the only person suffering. You’re not the only bird dropping out of the sky! One of the best things you can do to help yourself through those “aflockalyptic” times is to show kindness to a partner in pain. A kind word from an empathetic voice goes a long way towards starting the healing process of another person. More than that, it will works it’s own medicinal magic on your suffering as well. Try it, you’ll be amazed.
So don’t panic the next time a flock of dead pelicans drops in on your day at the beach. It will be OK, really.