When You Come to a Fork in the Dishwasher, Thank It

It’s Thanksgiving. Time to pause and reflect on the blessings in our lives. Like most, I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my health, and my fork.

What’s that? Not everyone is thankful for their fork?

Well, maybe you’re right. After all, even I wasn’t very thankful for my fork until last Thanksgiving. But let me tell you what happened that morning. It might change the way you feel about your fork; it might even help change the way you’re feeling about your life.

Here’s what happened…

[sociallocker id=”1846″] It was morning, my wife had just made pancakes, and she asked me to get us another fork. I figured it was the least I could do, so I agreed.

I knew there were utensils in the dishwasher, so that’s where I began my search. I opened the door and hit a wall; I was faced with a seemingly endless sea of utensils, but they were all facing down, mocking me, so that I couldn’t tell which was which. Forks, spoons, knives, all mixed together, and yet I’d been given specific instructions to return with a fork. I didn’t like my odds.

But I’m a man, so after my wife ordered me to hurry up, I took a chance. I closed my eyes, reached into that silvery sea of chaos and pulled something out. But what?

I opened my eyes and – I kid you not – found myself holding a fork. A fork! On my first try!

I know what you’re thinking: that’s impossible. But it’s true. I was asked to get a fork, and on my first try, I got a fork.

Now, in the off chance you don’t understand why I was so excited about this, let me explain.

The day before, on my way to work, I hit a red light. And as you might imagine, I was furious.

A few days before that, I picked a checkout line at the grocery store. And, of course, it turned out to be the slowest line. Again, I was furious.

Once, when I was trying to sharpen a pencil, the lead broke 3 times. You don’t want to know how upset I was at that.

And then, there were all the times when I’d reached for one type of utensil only to come up with another.

So, as you can probably tell, I have incredibly bad luck. Or, I should say, I had incredibly bad luck. Until the fork incident, of course.

You see, I didn’t just pull out a fork from the dishwasher that morning; I also pulled out an insight. And it went a little something like this.

If I thought it was appropriate to get upset over hitting a red light, why didn’t I think it was appropriate to get just as happy whenever I hit a green one?

If I thought it was appropriate to get upset over picking the slowest line at the store, why didn’t I think it was appropriate to get just as happy whenever I picked a faster one?

If I thought it was appropriate to get upset over breaking a pencil lead, why didn’t I think it was appropriate to get just as happy whenever I didn’t break one?

And if I thought it was appropriate to get upset over grabbing the wrong utensil from the dishwasher, why didn’t I think it was appropriate to get just as happy whenever I grabbed the right one?

I don’t know how to answer those questions – or most of the ones asked on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? – but I do know what asking those questions can do to a guy: they can help him realize that for every time things “go wrong” there are probably countless times they went right and he never even noticed, much less got as emotional about them.

I know that’s a lot to get from just pulling a fork from the dishwasher, but that wasn’t just any fork; that was my lucky fork. And every time I remember it, it helps me put things in perspective and helps me feel a little less cursed and a little more blessed.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m not only thankful for my family, my friends and my health, but for my fork as well. And hopefully, the next time you’re feeling down and you just happen to realize you have a fork in your hand, you’ll remember this story. Yes, a lot of things seem to be going wrong these days. But, if we only stop long enough to look around, we might find there are many more things that are going right. So don’t give up. Keep striving. Keep reaching. Who knows what you’ll find? It just might be a fork.
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