For a long time I spiritualised coincidence. Instead of things just happening because they could or did, I decided it must have been a (((God moment))) (yes, parentheses included).
A few reasons for this.
I kind of believe in luck, and I also believe in fate and destiny and all those things. But I’d heard many sermons and teaching about how this isn’t a godly way to think. So I wrote it off, and decided that everything that seemed to ‘happen for a reason’ must be God’s timing. If it was good, I was being rewarded, if it was bad, I was being taught a lesson.
People do believe this, and on some level I do think that God has miraculous timing. On the other hand I also think God doesn’t have a hand in the day-to-day operations of The Universe Of Lisa, or necessarily intervenes as often as I used to assume He would. I feel more like God is a proud parent at a school assembly — there, part of it, but allowing me to operate using free will.
Something changed this for me.
Two people I know used the same dating site. They matched. She said: ‘Weird, I saw that guy on there. He’s nice but I wouldn’t want to date him.’
But, he said: ‘Weird thing happened, I saw that lovely lady on there and I’ve always kind of liked her, and do you think God’s bringing us together?’
And I said…
Okay, I don’t actually remember what I said. But here’s what I thought (and still do think):
- You’re on a niche dating website.
- You live in the same state.
- You both are involved in Christian circles, and this community is really small to begin with.
- I have feelings about who should get together, you guys aren’t on my radar.
With the exception of dot point four, I still think that two people on a dating website helped me erase some of the religious overtones in my own life.
It really was just a coincidence, but only kind of. Their circumstances meant it was highly likely their paths would cross.
I don’t put everything down to this though.
Sometimes I believe that we are destined for a lot of our relationships, friendships and otherwise. I knew that my best friend was going to be my best friend when we started college. I knew that even though Simon was a bloody pain as a desk mate (and terrible at group work), we were supposed to be friends. My very first best friend Emma Allchurch and I met on the first day of school and sat in the tunnel all lunch time talking. (I miss you Emma, and if I ever tracked you down, I’m sure we would be friends).
Maybe I’m just meeting all these people on the first day in new educational settings.
Life might have dished out more lemons recently, but I have made a hell of a lot of lemonade.
For every difficult phone call there has been an okay one, including the very sweet young guy who rescheduled my credit card payments. For every financial difficulty there has always been just enough, somehow. And for every time I have wanted to cry, but haven’t, there’s been a song, or a friend visit, on sun breaking through clouds to bring comfort.
I wrote a creative non fiction piece for unidetailing someone putting suncream on the back of my neck. My tutor wrote ‘What is it about someone applying sunscreen for us? It’s somewhat unnecessary, but it works.’
The sunscreen was a decision I made, or the person in question did when they brought sunscreen with them. The sunshine and the happy song on the radio might be a coincidence. It might be a (((God moment)))). Or it could just be beauty in the eye of the beholder.
There’s never a reason for every little thing that happens, and that’s alright with me.