Not long ago we had a Theology on Tap night about coincidence. Fr. Mike shared several life stories where circumstances lined up apparently coincidentally… but as he reflected in prayer and discernment… decided they were really tidbits and signs of God’s greater plan at work.
We all have these kinds of moments and stories in our lives. We’ve all heard the adages… There’s no such thing as coincidence… or… Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
I knew it!
It’s comforting in the moment because we say to ourselves:
I knew it! There WAS something bigger going on!
Now I know for sure… it’s real!
However we choose to label it… coincidence / omen / sign from God… there is great relief in feeling / thinking / experiencing that indeed we are on the right path. Our inner hunch is confirmed. Thank you Jesus!
If anything had happened differently…
So when it turned out that the friendly stranger at the Yosemite parking lot was the Governor of Nevada, I started wondering… was that encounter random chance or greater purpose?
Any deviation from how and when we arrived at that exact location at that exact moment… on any of our parts… would have meant that we’d have probably missed each other altogether. So put a run in the box score for Team Greater Purpose.
And then again… I’m not counting on the fact that any of our paths will cross again… personally or professionally. We all live and work in different planes. So put a run in the box score for Team Random Chance.
But it’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?
Call to mind some times in your life when this has happened.
Maybe the spontaneous encounter with someone you knew or didn’t know changed the course of your day.
[ My husband once passed a car on a mountain highway at 65 mph who turned out to be his college roommate that he hadn't heard from in years. Crazy! ] [ We stopped of course ]
Maybe a song on the radio or a pearl of wisdom spoken by a friend or an email/phone call out-of-the-blue influenced a decision you made… big or small.
Maybe when you had to backtrack home to retrieve a forgotten item… or you got in the checkout lane with the first-day-on-the-job-cashier-so-it-took-forever… or in the lane with the little-ole-grandma-driving-15 mph-so-it-took-forever… maybe there was purpose.
I’m not a theologian.
I don’t know. I’m not a theologian.
I’m sure there is some esoteric / erudite / academic / intellectual / philosophical approach to discovering God’s presence / un-presence in stories like these.
But honestly… I don’t really care.
I just think it’s cool to ponder the God-thing at work in my life.
I think you probably do too.