The Happy Mistake: God Taking Care Of Us Or Dumb Luck?

Happy mistakes. Those rare times when something goes technically wrong but turns out better than the originally anticipated outcome.

Many a situation has been saved by the Happy Mistake, and that has me wondering: who or what is responsible for this?

A few weeks ago my wife and I were hiking through the woods when the trail turned into a lane of shin high miniature boulders. We needed to step our way from rock to rock until we got to the end of the passage and back on dirt; about 40 yards.

Typically, in these situations, my wife is the one to trip, stumble or have a problem, but today was not typical.

This time it was my turn. I made a wide step to my left, onto a rock that seemed steady. When it flipped in towards me, it pushed my whole body up and to the right, where I had questionable footing anyway.

I knew I was going down, I knew I couldn’t stop it, and I knew it might be a rough one. So I just relaxed and let it happen. I fell over to the right, landing hard on 2 rocks; one on my right shoulder, the other just above the back of my right hip.

I have a nagging stiffness in that back/hip area that I’ve been battling for nearly 20 years, and now this rock pounds me at the perfectly wrong spot. Great.

My wife, expecting me to be hurt, wonders if I’m ok. “Can you get up?” she asks.

I’m not sure, but after taking stock for a second, I realize that I actually feel pretty good.

I stand up. And I feel even better.

My right hip feels loose and fantastic! Actually I feel good all over (this doesn’t last as my shoulder tightens up a lot over the coming days). But my hip is flexible!

I jump around and kick my legs to test it out. Amazing! The rock cured me!

Here we are weeks later and my hip is still feeling great. And all because I took a bad step and fell over onto some big stones.

It doesn’t make sense.

A Happy Mistake!

About a week later, I’m telling my chiropractor about this, and in between spinal adjustments he tells me this story:

There were 2 world class marathoners dueling it out down the stretch of a major race (I don’t recall the names or details the way he did).

As they approach the final few blocks, one of them begins to suffer a painful leg injury. Thinking he’ll have to pull back and finish second, he rounds the final corner with the other runner and steps directly into some sort of deep pothole or opening in the road. At first, the strike of pain is intense, and the runner imagines himself walking to the finish line in agony.

But as the moment passes, he is consumed with something else. The jolt has realigned his leg and left him feeling refreshed and spry. With a newfound energy, he turns on the jets, sprinting past the other runner and winning the marathon.

His stepping into a hole allowed him to get physically better and win the race!

Another Happy Mistake.

Who is responsible for these jolly accidents?

Is it divine intervention? If so, are these the situations we would choose to be divinely helped with? Not to sound ungrateful, but can we save these heavenly favors and call them in when we choose?

Is it pure, dumb luck?

Is it our subconscious, snapping us into some sort of emergency zone or head space that we typically can’t reach?

Throughout history there have been several Happy Mistakes resulting in things such as penicillin, Velcro, and even beer! Read details here.

Whatever or whoever is responsible for the Happy Mistake phenomena, I am thankful.

What Happy Mistakes have impacted your life? To whom or what do you give the credit?

For more stories visit my Five O’Clock Shadow blog.

16 thoughts on “The Happy Mistake: God Taking Care Of Us Or Dumb Luck?

  1. Many mistakes turns out to bring out to best in us, but who is gonna dare to make a mistake?

  2. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my time, but none have resulted in anything happy, like inventing the microwave upon discovering that chocolate melted in my pocket when I walked by a magnetron (whatever that is). Sigh. Interesting post and glad that your hip is better!

    1. Well, mistakes are mistakes True or false a mistake will make you do one thing better than you know it, except if you don’t learn from it.

  3. I can’t recall ever having a “Happy Mistake”, but I’d certainly welcome one. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. 🙂

  4. What a fun and inspiring post, Todd! I l love it!

    Congratulations on the hip, how fun is that? And I think happy mistakes are Divine intervention and that we can’t direct them but we don’t have the wisdom to know how we need to be adjusted!

    Great post! Happy Friday!

  5. An engaging and post, Todd! I don’t recall any “happy accidents,” but I have often had better luck with instinct than with logic and planning. Taking risks has also worked well for me and made my life more challenging and rewarding.

  6. I could have died about three times in car accidents. One time I got thrown out of a car that got hit as we entered a highway and then rolled over a couple times over an embankment. I was pretty drunk at the time and wasn’t wearing a seat belt. When I woke up in the emergency room, my college roommate was swearing at a policeman a cop was asking me who was driving the car. I said I didn’t know. I should have said the last thing I remembered was being in a diner eating pie. Anyway, I wasn’t driving that night, but, when I saw that the passenger side of the car was crushed in a couple feet, I was amazed that I’d survived without a scratch. My roommate, the driver, was made because he had some cuts on his face. Another time when I was driving myself, I was sliding head-on into a school bus positive that I’d hit it, but I didn’t. I slid right back around it. I’ve heard similar stories from other people. I think there’s angels who keep a lot of us from dying before our time.

  7. I think it’s God. This and very many other unexplained phenomena that occur in this world, I choose to credit them to God. They are just beyond us.
    My experience is not my own, but my mother’s.
    My mom is quite up there in age, so this particular morning as she was hurrying up to go somewhere, she stumbled over a stone on her path and fell so hard, landing on her hand first. she says the pain was very bad that she wondered if she would ever be able to use her hand again. Now, this had been a hand whose wrist had an issue for so long. It used to hurt her and all medication had failed to cure her. Now she thought that it had completely failed her. Only to move it around after she stood up and it was all new and perfect. I think it is now a year from when that incident happened and her hand is very fine. It was a Happy accident/Mistake indeed.

    Thank you for pointing it out this beautiful phenomena😊

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