Friday, May 30, 2014

8/40 in 40: They Aren't Coincidences

Number 8 in a series of 40 posts, what I've learned in 40 years

I sat on the stoop with a friend last night until about 12:30 in the morning. It was a conversation I needed to have. I needed to really talk to someone and she was the best gal for the job. But before we got down to what was really wrong, we talked about God. We both struggle with faith in our own unique ways. In the end, I told her, my life is full of too many coincidences not to believe in God.

"They're not coincidences," she said quietly.

"No, exactly. That's what I mean."

My pastor told me one time, something to the effect of, you can decide the world is random or you can decide those little moments are gifts from God. It hurts no one to believe it that way, even if you're wrong, so why wouldn't you?

Every heart shaped rock, every chance meeting out of context, every random bumper sticker (last summer I kept finding myself behind the same truck, again and again, with the words "God is not mad at you" on the back window. I decided to take it to heart). They're not coincidences. Please know that I'm not reading messages into the pattern in people's ties or the way they've brushed their hair, I'm not delusional, I'm just open to the possibility.

And I finally came to this. God has to work with the world as it is. We are God's hands in the world, but since we have free will, we don't always perform as we should. But nature, now that is just a blank canvas of coincidence waiting to be brought to the light. And not just nature, but traffic flow patterns and notions that pop into our heads and who buys which house on which block and who gets a job at which school and who winds up in the wrong town at the wrong time needing a brake job and a rental car and what song comes on the radio next. Forces beyond our eyes as well as essential forces of nature.

We can live our lives blind to them, of course, and no harm in that. But I've decided to live life looking for meaning.

1 comment:

Mary Helen said...

Amen! Me, too. My life has way too many things to be coincidences. Thank you, God!!