I thrive on predictable outcomes. I steer my life away from unforeseen outcomes. But one day, an unexpected opportunity helped me to see my life in a different light.

I have always dreamed about witnessing a rocket launch into space.

A few years ago I learned that there were tickets that allowed a limited number of people to view the launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The next launch was scheduled in a month, and my family was drawn to the idea of this adventure. We invited two more families whose children were of a similar age as ours, and together, we all flew from Philadelphia to Orlando.

On Jan. 19, 2017, we arrived at the Kennedy Space Center before 11 a.m., as was required. Time went by very slowly as we toured and waited for the event. Finally, at 7 p.m. we boarded a special bus and were taken to the viewing platform along with other spectators. The air was filled with excitement.

We tuned into the radio station that was broadcasting the launch. Engineers were speaking words that I could not understand.

Finally, the countdown began. It was five minutes to the launch and seconds seemed to decrease at an unnaturally slow rate. Every moment felt urgent and vital. My heart was beating fast ... four minutes, 40 seconds to go. We could see the smoke rising up in the distance. Voices on the radio were giving their final “green” light. Everyone was watching the clock.

And then, one of the engineers on the radio pronounced a code word that I couldn't understand, and the clock stopped. The discussion was too technical for me to follow, but soon after an announcement was made that the launch was postponed until the next day, which was Friday night.

I was overcome with disappointment. I couldn’t stop looking at the clock with the numbers frozen on the monitor. We hadI was overcome with disappointment committed time and money to this event, yet we would have to miss it because driving to watch the launch on Shabbat was not an option. We were scheduled to join the Chabad House of South Orlando for Shabbat prayers and dinner.

Having no control over the situation made me feel helpless, but I realized that I did have control over my perspective and my priorities. While feeling disappointed about the unsuccessful rocket launch, I was at peace with my decision to miss it on the next night, choosing instead to observe Shabbat.

The next evening we spent ushering in Shabbat at the Chabad House with people from different parts of the world who shared our Jewish heritage. After lighting the candles, I considered going outside at launch time to see if the rocket would be visible in the sky, but then I concluded that I wanted to focus completely on our Shabbat experience. Once I tapped into my inner priorities, there was no more sadness about this lost opportunity.

On Sunday morning, we flew back to Philadelphia without witnessing the launch of the rocket into space.

From our trip to Kennedy Space Center, I was reminded that life is full of complexity; days that arrive without perfect “weather” conditions or ideal circumstances. We cannot control the alignment of the countless details needed for a perfect “launch day.” Yet despite having no sway over the outcome, we are expected to do our best to act in accordance with our priorities and Torah values.

Ironically, when I reached this clarity, I felt liberated from my need to control the countless events in my world and experienced a feeling of inner peace.