“Hard times. Baby, well, they come to us all.
Sure as tickin’ of the clock on the wall.
Sure as the turnin’ of the night into day.
Your smile, girl, brings the morning light to my eyes.
It lifts away the blues as I rise.
I hope that you’re coming to stay.
I’m waiting. Waiting on a sunny day.
Gonna chase the clouds away.
I’m waiting on a sunny day.”
I never really appreciated the lyrics to one of my favorite Springsteen songs until the last few weeks. We are constantly waiting instead of appreciating. We are cynical instead of hopeful. We see shadows instead of light. We see chaos instead of a plan. We think we are lost instead of knowing the way.
My favorite saying these days is this: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
I woke up on Wednesday, January 18, for an early morning flight from San Francisco to Chicago. Typical. Traffic? Typical. TSA security cluelessness? Typical. Mind-numbing United Airlines boarding process? Typical. Frantic texts from your father’s nurse to contact her right away? Not part of the plan. Several days later, I was giving my father’s eulogy. Want to make God laugh?
I went to bed after the Super Bowl telling my wife that we had witnessed a miracle by the New England Patriots. Want to challenge God as to what constitutes a miracle? I woke up Monday morning at 4:00 am, as usual. From the shower, I heard the scream – “No Way!” Mary had just received the news that our first grandchild, Penelope Francis, had been born 40 minutes earlier – more than two weeks ahead of schedule and less than 6 days after I gave my father’s eulogy. 8 hours later, I was holding a true miracle in my hands. Sorry, Tom Brady – my miracle is better.
God has been laughing pretty hard at my plans lately. This week, I learned that He is not laughing at me. He is laughing with me. I have decided to laugh right along with Him.
As I held the most precious creature I have ever seen (since the last precious creature I held 23 years ago), I thought back to the gospel reading at my father’s funeral mass. It was from John 14. Thomas asked Jesus how they could follow Him when they did not know where He was going. Jesus replied that “I am the way…No one comes to the Father but by me.”
Every day, we are being shown the way. We just don’t look closely enough.
“It’s raining, but there ain’t a cloud in the sky.
Must have been a tear from your eye.
Everything will be OK.”
Every day, the universe unfolds before us and shows us where to go. Those we love are guiding us. Those we lost are watching over us. We fight them instead of accepting them.
“I thought I felt a sweet summer breeze.
Must have been you sighing so deep.
Don’t worry, we’re going to find our way.”
As usual – from the first Christmas through February 6, 2017 at 3:04 am and through countless times in between – it is a child that shows us the way. It is a child who opens our eyes to the miracle that is every… single… day. I wished that she could have met her great grandfather. Then, I realized – she did. I wished she could have known her great grandmother. Then, I realized – she always has.
“I’m waiting. Waiting on a sunny day.
Gonna chase the clouds away.
Waiting on a sunny day.”
As I held Penelope Francis in my arms, I looked out the window and saw all of the rain falling outside.
I just laughed.
Michael C. Marcon is the founder & CEO of Equity Risk Partners and former chairman of the Ursinus College board of trustees. He tweets from @mcm7464. Tweet him any of your questions about business, leadership or life.