Chances Are

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

It happens often. I have a nagging question in my mind. And then, as if by fate, I chance on certain people or events that have the answer I am seeking. I am fascinated with coincidences and chance encounters. There is a wisdom and profound meaning behind each person that I accidentally meet. There are little serendipitous moments that make us laugh and yet tacitly assure us we are exactly where we are meant to be. Then, there are colossal moments that we stumble upon, a twist of fate, and life is never the same again. Behind each life story seems to be a well-orchestrated law of time and connections. I always believe that the universe, the wisdom, the divine, Divine Providence, God, or whatever intangible power that shapes the pattern of our lives, will give you the answer you seek. Not only that, He is infinitely wiser and has a good sense of humor. Yet, we often fail or refuse to see the answer, even if it stares us on the face. Worse, we ignore the meaningful coincidences or chances that we cannot fathom, failing to learn the lesson, receive the guidance, or embrace the love or suffering it desires to impart. I can be a little obsessive with long-term plans, and have one year, five year, 10 year plans, I hope not to deviate from. And yet, there are events arranged by forces outside of me that I couldn’t control. There’s the fluke, the misadventure, the itinerary that goes awry, or a perfect plan that’s dampened. These mishaps will later reveal to you a purpose that is so much bigger than you would ever understand. What draws us to a certain place at a certain time? And what magnetizes another person to be there at the right moment? If certain people or events are given to us at a certain time and space, then could it be that we are all synchronized with each other, and the entire cosmos in a certain way. Could it not be that our life stories are fine-tuned in some way? I marvel at knowing that there is a connection between other people and me, between moments and me, and between the entire universe and me. It’s sublime. We are not individuals on unintelligible journeys, fulfilling our lives on our own. We are connected to each person that we come to meet, and wherever we look, lives are being born, destinies being shaped and fulfilled according to a wisdom that is larger than us. “…One of the primal secrets of the world is the tie between the person and event, and the energy we try to expend trying to escape our destiny only serves to drive us deeper into it.” (Emerson) Are we fated to have the life we have? What about freedom? Well, it’s absolutely there. Paradoxically, the very concept of destiny allows us freedom. Why? Well, whatever did you do to that accidental meeting was yours to make. Whether that man you met at the café (think Meet Joe Black, I wish) became your husband or just another man at the café- that was you working on your destiny. Or think about the countless times a similar situation has been thrown your way, and yet you go back to the same old pattern that ends badly. Isn’t it then that life gives it back to you until you learn to use your freedom and choose your road less traveled? What we do with the wisdom that synchronizes time and space for us, and makes big and small fall into our lap, that is a matter of freedom. So the next time you’re thinking about a friend and he calls you, thank the heavens. And if that fateful call led you two to coffee, warmth, and moments you sorely missed, thank yourself.

Inspired by the Book “The Veiled Pulse of Time” by William Bryant

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