It was Alex’s dream cabin – 10,000 square feet of luxurious space overlooking a majestic waterfall, near the famous Sundance Ski Resort. It took him and his wife several years to design, build and furnish it. But it only took 10 seconds to completely destroy it.
It had snowed heavily that day. Still, Alex’s wife braved the weather for the 30-minute ride up the canyon from their current home to visit their newly completed mountain home. Alex was to join her later and bring their nine-year-old daughter.
Alex received a call from the Sundance Ski Resort at about 3pm: “There is a problem at your cabin. You’d better come immediately.”
They gave no more details. Alex anxiously dashed up the canyon on snow-clogged roads. When he arrived at the ski resort, the director of the resort and his staff greet him.
“There’s been a catastrophe at the cabin. We think your wife was there. Jump in the four-wheel drive. Let’s go.”
The cabin was adjacent to the ski resort and was accessible only by a narrow, winding mountain road. As they frantically raced up the road and pulled near the cabin, Alex spotted his wife in the roadway surrounded by several members of the ski patrol. As Alex jumped out of the vehicle and ran toward her, she pointed to the trees above the cabin. Alex was shocked.
The swath of a monster avalanche had blasted down the mountainside, leaving massive trees snapped and broken in its wake like match sticks. In seconds, the avalanche had blown out all of the windows and piled tons of snow into the huge living room, collapsing all the floors. What remained was just a shell. Outside, the carefully selected furniture were smashed to bits in the snow.
The ski patrol hustled them out of the avalanche zone quickly, as new avalanches threatened. The loss of the cabin really shook Alex and his wife. Why did it happen to them?
The story could end here. But there was a miracle happened that day and Alex didn’t discover it until eight months later.
At a business meeting, a colleague of Alex asked him, “Did your wife ever tell you that my wife and your wife almost had an accident on the road to your cabin on the day of the avalanche?”
“No,” Alex replied. “What happened?”
“Well, my wife and our boys were staying at our Sundance cabin that day. Because of the heavy snow, they decided to leave and come back home. They then started down the narrow road. Your wife, driving up the road, saw my wife and the boys in our Suburban. But when my wife slammed on her brakes, the car wouldn’t stop. It skidded down the slick mountain road gathering speed. There was nothing she could do to stop it. Finally, at the last moment before the two vehicles were to crash into each other, she turned the wheel, slamming the front of the Suburban into the snow bank on one side of the road while the rear of the vehicle slammed into the bank of the other side … virtually blocking your wife from proceeding up the road. They tried for almost an hour to get the Suburban unstuck and finally had to get help from the ski resort.”
“That’s amazing,” Alex said. “My wife never told me.”
They chuckled about the accident and parted company. Then the force of what had just revealed hit Alex.
If it hadn’t been for this accident, his wife would most certainly have been killed in the avalanche! He could imagine about that accident in the roadway. He could see his wife sitting there in frustration as the Suburban blocked her way to the cabin. He could see his friend’s wife at the scene, embarrassed by the whole situation. He could see her boys upset and wonder why this happened to them.
At the time, everyone viewed the situation as a complete disaster. And yet, with perspective, it was obvious that they had all unknowingly participated in a miracle.
To every disadvantage there is a corresponding advantage. When “accidents” happen, instead of wondering “Why me?” simply say “Thank you.” Then wait until all the evidence rolls in.