I’ve had quite a bit of time this week to ponder quite a few things – some relevant to day to day life, others to my spiritual life, and still more that are tied to my life and journey in general – and I keep finding myself coming back to this one, singular, complete thought (not something new, but a reminder, so to speak): There are no coincidences.
Life is not random; full of chance encounters and events. If we carefully contemplate our life, all of our choices and the many paths and pursuits we’ve dabbled in, we must admit to ourselves that God has His hand in every aspect – even the remotest and the most seemingly meaningless moments of our lives. Looking back, I can clearly see where God has attempted to lead me and I can (now) recognize the times where I have resisted or insisted on following my own will and ‘plan’. To sum it up neatly, let me say this: When I have pursued my own idea of what I ‘think’ I wanted out of life, it has come to either a tragic end or to naught. Not to say it was meaningless, but rather my own will became the more difficult, twisted, harrowing path of life but was still filled with opportunities (though most times I failed to see or realize that) for the practice of virtue and to grow in my relationship with God — just in a more challenging way. However, when I have trusted in where I thought God was directing me, practicing a bit of obedience, prayer, and patience in order to let those things unfold, I have been richly rewarded. And no, I don’t mean financially! That’s not the point at all. My rich rewards have been blessings, opportunities, and a sense of peace like I have never before known.
I see God’s hand in the chance conversation or the seemingly ‘random invitation’ that inspired a job interview, in the meeting of someone new that became instrumental in setting me back on the correct path, in the friendship that developed out of a common hurt or experience, in the spiritual book that I feel (for some unknown reason) inspired to read, and in all of the problems, hurdles, and choices that I face each day. Every moment. Every event. He is there giving us yet another opportunity to choose wisely, correctly, with virtue and faith in mind. Opportunities that if we err – we are able to learn from and do better next time around. And the great thing about all of this – perhaps the greatest, is knowing that He will never give up on us, no matter how many bad choices we make. With each good choice, we grow in virtue and grace, making the next time a bit easier, if we allow it and are open and responsive to it. We learn to let go of all of things that take us back to the bad choices, and to instead focus on the present moment. We let go. Really let go. And we move on.
And suddenly, we see that prayers ARE answered. Yes, your prayers, my prayers, they are answered. What a great gift and blessing to be able to see that they are being answered every single day. It leaves me quite in a state of awe and wonder. There are no coincidences. Only God putting us in the path of opportunity to grow as He intended. Every day, every moment, each event, every person encountered, every conversation carried out. No coincidences. An infinite number of mulligans. A perfect plan.