Catalyst

Learning from Life and Leadership

Thanks for Nothing

Tommy Allsup died on January 11, 2017. His name is unfamiliar to most. The rock-and-roll guitarist for Buddy Holly’s band should have died on February 3, 1959.
 
That was the date “the music died” (chronicled by Don McLean’s 1970 hit, American Pie). The small plane had too many would-be passengers than seats. So, a coin flip decided who went and who stayed.

 
Tommy Allsup lost to J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. He watched the plane take off. That plane crashed killing everyone on board who were popular musicians at the time.
 
Allsup could give thanks because nothing happened to him. Could you?
 
Last week, my daughter was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver on a major freeway in Dallas. The back glass shattered. The insurance company totaled her car.
 
One item in that story is noteworthy. The insurance adjuster could not believe everyone escaped serious. It should have happened. My daughter’s baby was not in the car at the time. Had she been in the car, who knows what horror might have happened. My daughter had some soreness which is working out, but broken bones and major injury crumpled with the bumper in that crash. Of all the things that could have happened. Nothing happened.
 
Thank God for nothing.
 
Think of all the things that have not happened to you.
 
  • You did not get a job but found a better one.
  • You missed the wreck that killed three on the freeway by 5 minutes.
  • Planes crash and you are not on them.
  • Grandparents bury their grandchildren, but yours is not one of them.
  • You don’t sleep on a dirt floor of a hut infested by parasites.
 
Too many times, we strain to find the good in life. Sometimes, the best kind of gratitude is to give thanks for what did not happen. Some of the grace of God comes in what we avoid and not what we we experience. When feeling deprived, you can always think of how bad your life could be.
 
In those cases, give thanks for nothing.

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