Another story and another thought.
I’ve been in Tennessee the past three weeks visiting family and friends. It’s been great. I spent a lot of time playing Halo and Ultimate Frisbee with friends and hiking in the woods. And I’ve spent just as much time sitting on the front porch screen listening to podcasts and reading a book.
There was a penny on the ground in my room the first few days. I didn’t pick it up. Not because I didn’t want to, I was just in my room to sleep and I’d only be in there pretty late at night. I knew, since it was my room, the change would be there until I picked it up.
A few days after I arrived in Tennessee, I walked in my room, saw the penny, leaned over, and picked up the penny. I took a closer look at it and realized: It was a 1940 Canadian penny! What was I going to do with that? I don’t live in Canada! I don’t have intention of going to Canada anytime soon (although I would like to visit one day). Considering the circumstances, I was relatively devastated.
So much effort wasted. So much time thinking about the penny and then engaging the penny…all for naught.
And I imagine that’s life isn’t it? I imagine that life sometimes doesn’t give us what we think we want or what we think we deserve. We can engage change. We can do the hard work. We can create and fight and ultimately persevere. But even in the working, creating, fighting, and persevering, we might not get what we were hoping for. We might end up with a foreign currency and no way to use it. Perhaps part of change is that it doesn’t meet our expectations. It doesn’t do for us what we thought it would do.
My wife and I moved to CO over 4 years ago with one purpose and one occupation in mind. In the last year we’ve both left our jobs and we’re starting life over in some ways. We might have picked up a Canadian penny.
But then the story of our move or the penny doesn’t end there. Just as I was writing the above paragraph, I wondered if things were redeemable. I looked up the value of a 1940 Canadian penny. It’s worth $1.00! One hundred times it’s original value! My wife and I are actually better off than we ever could have known less than a year ago. We have new jobs we love and a community of people who are with us and for us in ways we’ve only dreamed of.
Sometimes the Canadian penny, the change that didn’t happen the way we anticipated, is actually the thing we need most. I think we’re all just kind of trying to get a little better today than we were yesterday and sometimes finding a Canadian penny instead is actually just what we need to find ourselves a little better.