Doesn't it seem like everywhere you turn today there is another tragedy in the news? Kidnappings, murders, robberies, car accidents, tornados, hurricanes; the list goes on and on. Just when you think you've heard it all, a man dressed as Batman goes into a movie theater and starts firing a gun. It makes no sense.....we can't wrap our brains around it.....we're in shock.....we struggle to know what to do with the feelings we have. We watch every news show and listen to every commentator tell us about the tragedy and before we know it, our emotions are fueled by what we hear. If we aren't careful, we find ourselves getting angry; really angry. 

Just recently, I was watching the news about the "Batman" incident and the news station was talking to a woman who was camped outside the movie theater. She didn't know anyone in the theater but felt she needed to be there to be supportive of those who had gone through the tragedy. The more she talked, the more you could see her emotions escalate. If you hadn't been told that she didn't know anyone in the incident, you would have thought she had a very close relative in the theater. I even heard one person say they were not going to attend a movie again because, "You just can't trust anything." Tragedies have a way of defining us. It doesn't even matter if the tragedy directly impacted us, the more we hear about it and talk about it, the more it changes our thinking, impacts our emotions and messes with our lives. 

I think tragedy can be a moment for opportunity.  We can go with the flow and listen to everything being said around us and let it define the way we think about what has happened or we can take a different route. We can stop trying to figure it out because sometimes things just don't make sense. We can be grateful and thankful for all that we have, we can pray for those who are hurting, we can hold those we love a little tighter, and we can rejoice when we hear a miracle that happened in the tragedy.    

Now think about this in terms of your marriage. Has your marriage experienced a "tragedy?" You know, something happened that was senseless or harmful and immediately one or both of you went into shock. The loss of a job, the death of a loved one, a prodigal child, a health issue.....there are too many to mention here but you get the idea. When "tragedy" hits your home, how does it impact your marriage? Do you become angry, really angry or do you take a different route and look for what you can hold onto? Do you become grateful and thankful for all that we have, do you pray together, do you hold each other a little tighter, and do you rejoice together when you see positive things coming out of the tragedy. We can't just have the attitude in our marriages that I will be happy as long as things are going well. I think the vow reads like this "for better or for worse" and let's be honest; sometimes we can experience the "worse" in our marriages. 

Tragedy or opportunity? What choice will you make today?