Recently a good friend of mine retold to me an old Zen story that reminds us of the importance of not getting stuck in the moment and remembering that every cloud has a silver lining and that everything isn't what it seems.
This story, sometimes also refered to as a Taoist story, has helped me put things in perspective at times when it's been difficult to look ahead and the present has been overwhelming.
Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
More Zen stories can be found here: http://www.myrkothum.com/the-10-very-best-zen-stories/