I couldn’t help but take notice of the drama that has unfolded these past couple of weeks between two unlikely people, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. Who would ever think these two comedians would be at the center of such controversy! I haven’t followed it too closely, only catching brief clips from their late night monologues which have been hilarious. I heard someone comment that some of their best jokes ever have come out of all us and I have to agree.
I watched Conan O’Brien’s farewell signoff yesterday and was deeply touched by his words. Hosting the Tonight Show is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for him and I can only imagine how painful it must be to step down. He has handled this whole ordeal with such integrity and grace. If anyone has a right to complain, be cynical or angry he certainly does. But he has chosen not to go that route, knowing as we all should remind ourselves, nothing good ever comes of it.
His closing words really spoke to who he is and I think the qualities and mindset that have allowed him to be so successful. He spoke with complete conviction, directing his parting words at the younger views but I think his words are something we all need reminding of, “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get but if you can work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you amazing things WILL happen.”
The one thing we can guarantee in life is that it will throw us the unexpected. Sometimes the unexpected is just a bend in the road and other times it’s a sharp curve we didn’t see coming, like in Conan’s case. It’s how we react to the unexpected that separates the winners from everyone else. We all have a purpose and I truly believe that when the unexpected comes up, it’s because in God’s plan, it’s time to move on. In essence, our work is done there and new opportunities await us. As they say, when one door closes, another one opens. We have a choice when the unexpected happens. We can stall out, get caught up in self-pity and allow it to divert us from our true purpose or we can choose to move forward in faith knowing something better is out there. It’s those sharp bends in the road that truly test our faith. We need to have enough faith to be still, place ourselves in God’s hands and allow Him to be the driver because when you do, as Conan says, “amazing things will happen”.