Imagine your childhood. What did you dream about? Becoming a firefighter? ballerina? traveling through space? Imagine what your interest was when you were in your teens? Did you set goals for a particular profession? Did you develop a talent such as dancing or playing the piano?
Did you learn skills that would steer you in the direction that you were seeking to go? How did you get there? What do you do? Did you fulfill your dream? or did you settle?
Let's just say (for example) that you may have studied the stars and dreamed about traveling through space. You studied science.
You didn't apply to work at NASA for whatever reason. Instead, you became a teacher. You love your students. You love sharing your knowledge with them. Your desire of space travel has been left on the back burner. Now imagine it's 1984 and Ronald Reagan has made the announcement of the "Teachers in Space Program". How you might feel if you were told you had an opportunity to train for a childhood dream?
Imagine being one of 114 candidates selected out of over 10,000 applicants. You have the opportunity of participating in a one week workshop in June. How do you feel? Excited? Apprehensive? You go through extensive training with those who share your profession. Only one of you will be picked to advance to the space station with six trained astronauts. How do you feel? Determined? Competitive? Are you a team player? When you go before a committee from NASA to answer questions, how do you feel? Are you confident? Prepared? nervous? anxious?
Now, imagine that it's July 19,1985 and Ronald Reagan is announcing who will be the first teacher in space and it isn't you? How do you feel? Happy for your comrade? disappointed in yourself? resentful?
Now imagine it is January 28, 1986. You have turned on your TV to watch the liftoff of the Challenger space shuttle. Within seconds after take-off, the shuttle explodes. You see fire in the sky. Everyone on board has died. You were not chosen. How do you feel?
I'm not really certain what triggered this post - except for I had written "Challenger: those that hadn't made it". I had read an experience in one of many "Chicken Soup for the Soul" - I don't remember which one. He went into more detail about the hard work and how he felt - before the announcement, before the explosion, and after the explosion.
I think because sometimes we will see ourselves or our children or someone else that we know work so hard at something, persistent even. And even with all the hard work, the study, the prayer, the dreams . . . there are several emotions that go on when we didn't get picked. When we didn't get the approval. When we felt we weren't chosen. Do we feel like failures when that happens? Maybe there's a reason we didn't get "chosen". Perhaps Heavenly Father has something else in mind. And sometimes we have the advantage of saying, "Oh, I guess it really wasn't meant to be". How great it would be if we were able to put our faith in Heavenly Father to begin with.
There are hundreds of examples of things that went wrong that prevented something even more devastating - like oversleeping, car accidents, power failure - all interferences. And yet what worse thing did you miss? A woman living in Oklahoma was already late for work at the Federal Building when she experienced car problems on April 19, 1995. She may have thought her situation irritating at the time. She was still stranded on the highway when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (where she worked) was bombed. And what feelings must have gone through her mind.
I have been in enough frustrating situations that turn out for good that I try to keep it with me that "this may be a blessing" and try to be thankful before I know the end results. (see here) My situations have never offered as much drama. I do have quite a bit to be grateful for.