Good news, bad news, or just news?

Isn’t it funny how insights or ‘aha’ moments can hit at the most unexpected times and ways?

Last weekend I was leading a women’s retreat in Sedona, Arizona and all nine of us ladies were having lunch in a funky Sedona-ish restaurant.  After our order was placed, our server, a very insightful young woman in her twenties, returned to tell us she had ‘news’.  I asked if it was good news or bad news.  She quickly replied, “It’s just news.”.  Then she added, “You can determine if it’s good or bad, but it’s just news”.

In that instant, it’s like a lightbulb was switched on over my heads, and said outloud, “Wow. That was profound.” 

I was reminded how quick I am to label something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ without knowing the end game or how it will all play out.  It turns out the ‘news’ she had was that they were out of soup.  Initially I would label that as ‘bad’ news, but those who ordered soup, selected something different and were pleased with their choices.  So, I guess it turned out ‘good’.  What do I know?

This poignant comment stuck with me as I continued to replay in my mind how many times I have assessed a situation, without having all the information or knowing what twists and turns lay ahead.  So many times, okay MOST times, I was premature in my evaluation and had I watched and waited, a much different outcome than I’d expected would emerge.  I vowed to myself to be open to observe situations unfolding without a bias or preconceived idea of how it will be.

Sounds easy, right?  And, it is pretty easy when you’re talking about soup.  But just yesterday a very dear friend of mine, a sistah really, received a diagnosis of Stage 4 Cancer.  As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t let it be ‘just news’, and I asked myself why I couldn’t apply that principal to this situation.

I found the more attached I am to the outcome of a situation, the less likely I am to allow it to be whatever it is.  I don’t have the answer here.  I wish I did.  Instead, I’ll keep working at releasing my opinion of this prognosis and trusting the Source that is so much bigger than me and my understanding.

Which brings me to my third example.

As this is Good Friday, I am reminded of all the people who were present to witness Jesus crucified on the cross and those who heard of it afterward.  That could not have been ‘just news’ to them.  That was surely seen as very ‘bad news’ – devastating even.  Their friend, their teacher, and their leader was brutally taken from them.  Yet in just three short days, not only did their friend, teacher and leader return, but now he was their Savior, also. This news that could have been viewed as the worst news ever, turned out to the be the ‘good news’ that would save generations of people throughout the world.

So, what in your life are you calling ‘bad news’?  Can you remove that label as you watch it unfold and witness the unexpected beauty and miracles that may result?  Let’s all try together.