A few years ago, one of my favorite songs was “God Blocked It” by Kurt Carr. Of course, that was before the local gospel radio station overplayed it and well before every gospel choir in the country attempted to sing it. The lyrics of the song describe a time in the soloist’s life when God intervened and prevented events from being as bad as they could have been. It’s safe to say that I had a “God Blocked It” moment just a few days ago.
Recently, I wrote about how my
former friend A had written a terrible email in order to try to put an end to a conflict that existed between himself and my friend B. Because of my supposed role in the conflict, I was included in the email as well. At first, I decided against replying to it, but I reconsidered when I ended up having a lot of extra time on my hands on Sunday after my flight was delayed several times. I spent about 45 minutes crafting what I felt would be an adequate response that summed up my feelings on the issue. It was barely a paragraph long and nowhere near as harsh as it could have been given the level of the conflict.
I took a deep breath before hitting the send button. I was happy that I had found the strength to write my true thoughts on the issue without coming across as offensive. However, there was one problem–the email bounced. Given that I hit the “reply to sender” button, I was a bit confused because the notice on the email claimed that the target account did not exist. Within seconds, I figured out that there were only two scenarios that could have caused this situation. A had either closed his gmail account after emailing B and me or he put our email addresses on a blocked list.
Needless to say, I was angry. Even ridiculous emails should have the chance for a rebuttal, but A had pretty much attacked my character and then made it impossible for me to respond. I sat in the Atlanta airport fuming for a few minutes before I started fully realizing the blessing that I had just been given.
Two years earlier, at my frat’s national conference in East Lansing, Michigan, I had just finished performing at an open mic event when I received a hateful series of texts from my nemesis. B was there as always to keep me from responding via text, but I was hurt by the situation. After all, I felt that my nemesis had to know that his account of the events leading to the breakdown in our friendship was inaccurate. I couldn’t understand how someone who claimed to be a close friend of mine could be so oblivious about his actions.
I noticed the similarities between the two events almost immediately. B and I actually had a few conversations about these similarities during downtime at the frat conference. It was no accident that A and my nemesis had managed to send their correspondence at a time when we were scheduled to be out of town enjoying the short time we had with our fraternity brothers. It was also no accident that neither A nor my nemesis were able to take responsibility for their actions in their accounts of the breakdowns of our respective friendships. The only real difference is that A chose to involve me in the situation while my nemesis wanted to keep things private (because the nature of our particular conflict was very sensitive).
While I am still not sure of the true reason that my email to A’s address bounced, I am clear on the fact that it helped me to see that I am much better off without him receiving a copy of my response. I really don’t like conflicts so I go out of my way to resolve them in my life. The problem is that some people just are not willing to take responsibility for their actions. My failed attempts at resolving my issues with my nemesis have shown me that some friendships can’t be saved. At least A’s bouncing email helped me to reach that conclusion quicker in this case. For now, I can truly say that God blocked me from spending my extra time attempting to revive a friendship that had already run its course.
God Blocked It – Kurt Carr