AN ADAGE A DAY ◽ HOME

For the first half of our marriage, my husband and I used the adage of, “Murphy’s Law,” quite often. Do you know this quote of, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong?”

 

This adage has a remarkably interesting beginning and it has been around only since 1949. It was during an Air Force experiment of a very advanced innovative USAF high-speed rocket sled that an aerospace engineer, Colonel Edward A. Murphy, Jr. said this quote. He was involved in the experimental safety testing of this aircraft known as the Gee Whiz. There were a few failed tests and because of its speed no man had ridden in it. Finally, a monkey lived through one of the tests.

 

Colonel Murphy was afraid to try riding in the aircraft himself, but another man, Colonel John Stapp, volunteered. That test run went up to 421 miles per hour giving Colonel Stapp several injuries. This is when Colonel Murphy made the statement regarding the test’s failures, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

 

Later, at a press conference, Colonel Stapp repeated Murphy’s comment and this is how the quote got pinned as “Murphy’s Law.” And it is interesting to note, Murphy did not realize that he was the author of this adage until twenty years later. He also did not say this quote in a negative way like we use it now. The positive thought Murphy had behind saying this was that it is always good to be prepared for whatever could go wrong.

Murphy went on creating and testing aircraft safety equipment. He worked with the safety systems for the Apollo moon missions along with other well-known aircraft vehicles. He is also accredited with a few other adages of wisdom, basically, all in the name of science. My other favorite is, “Every aquarium will eventually leak.” I hope you do not have an aquarium.

 

Even though Murphy said his quote in a positive way, my husband and I used the “Murphy’s Law” like everyone else in the negative way. When our plans for something got changed for whatever reason, we would blame good ole Murphy. It would be “Murphy’s Law’s” fault. Some people believe these changes are fate, coincidence, or just my luck. I used to believe this way also, but I do not anymore.

 

Many years ago, I discovered the unusual happenings, the pieces in my life puzzle being put together in astonishing ways, or just the happenstance changes in events or plans really are a product of the Holy Spirit guiding my life. Once I started believing this, so many other things in my life started to fit into place.

 

Like Murphy, I wanted to fly. I wanted to be an astronaut at NASA, and I wanted to fly to the moon. I wanted a pilot's license. I did not get these things, but one thing I did get like Murphy was the understanding to be prepared for whatever happens. And the best way to be prepared, to me, is to know who is ultimately in charge of our plans.

 

Murphy’s Law states that we plan one thing and something else may, and probably will, happen.

 

Doesn’t this sound like the verse in Proverbs 19:21?

 

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

 

So, when my plans change instead of saying it is coincidence, fate, or Murphy’s Law, I will refer to these changes as being from God and being His plan for His purpose. Now that is a positive thought!

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Flying High with Murphy
by Carole Gilbert

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