A huge oak tree dominates the back walk way into my workplace. It is so large and broad it makes for a relatively dry walk from the parking lot to the doorway.
This time of the year, the oak tree sheds it’s seeds, acorns almost as big as golf balls. It’s like walking through an upside down minefield, dodging missiles raining from the sky at random intervals.
I used to think there were vengeful squirrels hiding up in the tree, taking aim at us invaders into their playground. They were really good at hiding, too.
After the preponderance of the evidence suggested that no animals were responsible and the acorns fell on their own, I somehow felt safer. If I were to get hit on the head with a falling acorn, it would be a random chance, not the result of the evil plot of a herd of tuft-tailed rodents.
Sometimes acorns are going to fall on your head. Acorns fall all the time, and if you walk under the tree, chances are you’ll get hit. You can blame the squirrels if you want to, but stuff happens.
Sometimes I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself when bad stuff happens. It’s easy to ask “why me?” When I’m overwhelmed, it’s easy to ask, “What did I do to deserve this?”
Then I hear about someone undergoing a trial far more devastating than anything I could even imagine, and I my measly troubles seem like nothing. The truth is, bad stuff happens to even the best people. What is amazing is that good people come out better and stronger as a result of their trials, rather than letting the bad stuff define them or blaming others for their problems.
I’m still going to dodge falling acorns, but if I do get hit, I’m not going to take it personally. Unless I actually see his beady black eyes…