Posts Tagged ‘Coincidence’

All Things Are Connected

If there is one thing I know for sure in life, it is this:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COINCIDENCE

    Not a single moment, not a since chance meeting, not a single happenstance, not a single similarity, not a single bit.  It’s as if God weaves an invisible thread through time, space, geography, and lives tying events and people together, as He weaves together a grand tapestry too big for our eyes to fully grasp.

Yet like a jigsaw puzzle, we intuitively (well, those who are intuitively aware) know that something more is at work here.   Even disappointments in life are known as “divine appointments” if viewed through the lens of a different perspective, that is a mind that is higher than our own.

I personally know out of my deepest sorrows, the deepest joys were birthed.  In times of abandonment, I found connection simply by being aware of the God who created me and those He works through as he introduced them to me.  The core of who I most truly am started as a simple seed (that which my heart most truly desires).  It was planted and took root down low in the dirt. Then it was watered with tears.  Yet now it is shooting up and starting to bloom with buds that when opened bring me incredible joy and occasionally even others!

So I’ve learned some things as I’ve matured.  Nothing and no one God puts on your path is random.  We may not quite get the connection, but God does.   It’s up to us to seek God’s wisdom as we assimilate our experiences, to go with the flow, and hopefully not unravel or knot-tie what God has designs on.

Here’s a perfect example of how nothing is coincidence; all things are connected:  (And this happens to me repeatedly in life, I could write a dozen pages, but will refrain as our time is valuable.)

Tuesday I was at my friend Rebecca’s home.  On her refrigerator was a picture of a mom.  I said, “Hey, how do you know Julie?”  She replied, “That’s not Julie, that’s my cousin Rachel.”

Well she looks exactly like my friend Julie!  But I see now that it is not because there are different kids in the picture.  Well, everybody has a twin!” I say.

I think to myself, I should send a Facebook message to my friend Julie and tell her she has a twin on this earth, but I get busy that night so I don’t.  The next day, I kid you not, I run into Julie at the library. 

“Oh my gosh!” I tell her.  “I was just thinking of you last night!”  I tell Julie the story of my friend Rebecca who has a near carbon copy photo of her on her refrigerator.    She chuckles, and we talk about other things.  She tells me she may be moving to my neighborhood because that just so happens to be where Julie’s in laws live, and they may be combining homes due to aging parent concerns.

So we talk about that for a while.  Then she talks about her brother in law who sometimes gets a ride to church from a friend in my neighborhood named Dan.  She can’t remember his last name.  I tell her the only Dan I know is Dan Allen.   And she says, “Right!  That’s the same one.”

WHAT?!?!  I say in awe.  Well Dan Allen is the husband of my friend Rebecca (are you following me still?) who has the twin picture of Julie on her refrigerator.   “No way!”  Julie says.

      Not only is the world getting smaller, but it just shrunk twice, right before our very eyes.

By now our conversation has drifted with our walking out of the library and towards a playground where our kids can play together for a while.  She tells me that tomorrow she plans to take her kids to the zoo.  WHOA!  Wait a dog gone minute I say!  I had just made plans that morning to take my kid to the zoo tomorrow too!

Today I did go to the zoo.  I don’t know if Julie went as it rained so hard, it was basically a monsoon, but still the coincidences were so….well, connecting!

But wait there is more!  Julie used to have a neighbor named Rob.  Two years ago, Rob was giving away a stray cat he had become attached to but couldn’t keep.  So I met Rob through Julie due to a plea she made on Facebook while trying to help Rob who was desperate to find a home for his cat.   This is how I got my cat Toby who is now part of our family.

So a few months ago my mother-in-law breaks her leg.  She returns home from the hospital and needs intensive physical therapy.  She has a great therapist she tells us about as she learns new exercises each week.  Well, after eight weeks or so, as he wraps up his visits with her, he spots a photograph on her dresser.

“Is that Liz?” he asks her. On her dresser, Rob had spotted a photo of me taken almost 30 years ago when I married my husband.  (How did he even recognize me?)  “Yes it is,” she replies, “Liz is my daughter in law.”  “Well Liz adopted a cat of mine that I could no longer keep when I got married a year ago.”

And you could take it even further still.  Where did I meet Julie?  At our church.  About thirty years after we went to the same middle school together.

Maybe you chalk up these encounters as coincidence!  I do not.  I believe in “seeing thru a glass darkly.”  If we do not understand these connections that are good, friendly, or amusing, how much more can we not understand that which connects and binds us to one another in hurtful, disappointing, or destructive ways?

I am not excusing bad behavior or random acts of harm or disappointment that none of us are immune to.  I only know there is always more than meets the eye.  There is more to hear than our ears find audible.  There is more to grasp than our minds can understand.

We can’t make sense of our lives if we rely only on our own understanding.  But when we rely on God, the bigger picture becomes more in focus, the fine details are sharpened, and life becomes vivid, clearer, brighter, and yes–happier. 

        I believe we gain wisdom as we become more intuitive.  And we gain that intuition, as we deepen our faith.  In becoming wiser and more intuitive, we also learn to appreciate the people God introduces to us as well as circumstances and coincidences God allows to happen.  We start to realize they too have a place, a season, and a purpose in our life as well.    

      Why did you even read this far?   Maybe it was just coincidence.  Perhaps–or maybe it really was something more.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV)

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19 (ESV)

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Witness Venus In Transit Here:  http://vimeo.com/43563394

Suggested Listening:  “Window in the Skies ‘ — U2  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK_q7tEOPA0

 Dang it!  I missed it.  Do you know what solar phenomenon happened on June 5, 2012 that will not be repeated in our lifetime?    It’s not an amazing meteor shower, or even a comet, such as the beautiful Hale Bopp comet seen all over the world in 1997.    It was the solar event known as Venus in Transit.  Here’s how it played out:  Venus passed directly between the sun and the earth, but appeared as a black dot traversing the length of the sun on a journey just shy of seven hours.  For anyone that would have witnessed this event at an observatory, a museum viewing, or with eyes shielded by welder-grade sunglasses, they would have witnessed a black dot slowly making its way across the sun for approximately seven minutes from their specific location on earth.

 This Transit of Venus happens every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart that part company for about 105.5 and 121.5 years.  Another words, the next paired transit, won’t happen until 2117 and 2125.  This means, we won’t have a chance to witness this phenomenon again, at least not in our resident earthly body.

Wikipedia informs us that this event is both predictable and rare. Predictable in that it has a proven historical track record, but rare in the fact, you have only a two-shot chance of witnessing  this spectacular paired journey eight years apart.  So if you missed it on June 5, 2012 and also June 8, 2004 then you will only see it now courtesy of cyber space, not celestial space.

I’m sorry I missed this because I still remember Hale Bopp, not because of the freakishly strange cult suicides that resulted from its presence, but because like a diamond in the sky, it possessed the quality of brilliance and extreme rareness.  I remember seeing the comet as it blazed across the sky, as a vivid light breaking through the darkness, gently hinting there is so much more here than meets the eye.    Looking up, it appeared to be a window in the sky that alludes to something beyond what our mind can surely grasp.

Strange as it sounds, when I saw it from our front porch, my first thought was how it reminded me of the Polar Express train of children’s  literature—this magical train that breaks through the night, full of excited children, crossing space and time boundaries to deliver more than just Christmas gifts, but the gift of belief!

This I know to be true in life:  There is no such thing as coincidence!  I will repeat that until my dying day.  I am a firm believer that life is not random, but intentional.  We are created to witness some great mysteries and miracles in life, but they will mean little more to us than coincidence without the gift of belief.

I’ve always been enthralled by the mysteries of deep space.  It humbles me, because I know that in the grand spectrum of the universe, my allotted space and time is absolutely microscopic.  Think about this:  Look at all you have witnessed and experienced in your own life, if only up until now:  Moments of rare beauty, moments of extreme pain, birth, loss, dreams, obligations, music, love, oceans, mountains, sky, animals, and people—just a small millionth of all you’ve experienced, endured, heard, tasted, witnessed, and touched.    Considering the vastness of our universe, is it mere privy that you’ve had the luxury of experiencing so much?  You are not like the stationery planets that sit still, changing only on the surface.  You are so much more!

You are like Venus in Transit.  You are given a mind to assimilate knowledge, belief, events, faith, and experience.  Are all these things just random coincidence in your life?  Or will you use it and connect the dots in your life, just as surely as a master Creator has an order for the stars and planets that dot our view of sky?

Venus is named after the Roman goddess Venus that represents love, beauty, fertility, sexuality, prosperity and victory—not much–just the pinnacle of our enjoyable side of human existence.

So when I found out I missed Venus is Transit, as I read old unread emails from my museum memberships this morning, I was more than a little bummed.  You see, witnessing that would have been another event I know I would have categorized as witnessing a miracle:

Love Passes By; The Sun Keeps Watch

For me, I already believe this.  Love passes by.   Bono knows this.  In fact he wrote a book called “On the Move”.  He states that love, and mercy, and God are all on the move.  Love is never static!  It grows legs and walks into adversity and suffering.  It extends arms and hands that provide sustenance, aid, and the potential to hold someone.  Love is a cureBut it is not without cost.   It puts hearts on sleeves and security on the line and makes us give out of what we’re not even sure we possess.     See love knows we’re going to suffer.  It knows we’ll see things we’d rather not.  Love marches forward anyway.

I keep a pocket full of miracles in my head and heart that no person can ever take away.  Though most days I live life with feet planted firmly in terra firma in my town, my heart travels, and in in doing so, it keeps changing.  It’s as though a puppet master is pulling the strings of my feet, arms, and heart, as He says, “Over here, child.  Over here.”  I don’t know if I want to go, or if I’m prepared.  I do and don’t want to go.

But like Venus in Transit, a rare and brilliant love capably pulls my orbit across and around the Son’s light.   I don’t have to know the future or my exact destination as I journey across the universe.  I wish you the same:  Let the power of an eternal and regenerating love and light sustain you as you move through life.

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Photo Credits: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/05/ring_of_fire_eclipse_2012.html

 Yesterday I woke up, and as is my custom, before rolling out of bed, I grab the remote and turn on GMA, while my husband showers as I come to grips with today’s tragedies in the world.  It appears another parent is most likely guilty of the demise of their own child that they profess to love. During a “peaceful protest” this weekend in Chicago, police and citizens clashed amidst blood and billy clubs, and one policeman was stabbed.  BUT….it was “mostly peaceful.”   Facebook launched its smoking hot IPO,  but is it actually a great investment?   Another celebrity got booted off Dancing With The Stars.  A woman continues to recover after losing her leg to a flesh-eating bacteria after jumping off a zip line in the  Little Tallapoosa River.  Maybe George Zimmerman was telling the truth after all.  Robin Gibbs of the Bee Gees died.  Celebrity after celebrity has to deal with the hardships of divorce, botox, loneliness, stalkers, and having their lifestyle diminished in some capacity.  OK; so I’m awake.  I grab the remote, ready to turn it off, when WAIT A MINUTE, what’s this?  A Ring of Fire eclipse??  No way.

Finally!  Some good news!  I know if nothing else, this could be the very thing that will make me have my own personal Good Morning, America!   With fascination and wonder, I learn that this eclipse is a rare annual event; kind of like the birthday I just had a few days earlier.  Annual, in the fact that it’s once a year, and rare, because as we get older, the statistical odds of having another one diminish at an ever-increasing rate.

This eclipse is different than a regular eclipse because the moon, in its orbital trajectory, stands between us and the sun, but the moon appears smaller than it does during a total eclipse.  It doesn’t totally block out the sun; instead,  because of the moon appearing only slightly smaller than the sun, it temporarily erases the daylight and appears as a darkness illuminated by a “ring of fire”.

I think to myself; this is us!  We live our lives in similar fashion: We are satellites, spending our days rotating around other people and other things, going in circles in our own lives,  yet constantly rotating in sync around the lives of those we know and love.  Independently, we go about our tasks, and daily purpose as if it were just us.  We wake up and then we interact with our family, go to our jobs,  get on Facebook, check our email and text messages,  and find out the “daily news”, requests, and demands  that now will determine the tilt of today’s rotation.  Change is our only constant and overwhelmed-ness is our gravity.    By 9:00 am, our day is already altered from the plan we had in our head when we first woke up.

We make a plan.  We live our days.  We try to do what’s right.  And we get tired.  In walks temptation.  Here’s a shortcut.  They’ll never miss something so small.  It’d be easier for me if I just….    I don’t think it’d be a big deal if just this once I…..  He’s just a friend……   I shouldn’t tell you this, but…..    A shortcut here, an easier way to get ahead over there.  Because this or that or them makes me feel better or helps me, now.   We watch the news and justify our thoughts and choices with the rationale at least we’re not like so-and-so!  It doesn’t take long for Temptation to introduce you to his best friend; Deception.

Johnny Cash nailed it in a song, aptly titled “Ring of Fire”.  I fell into a burning ring of fire.  I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher.  And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire.  The ring of fire.

Like the moon, we can be, if we so choose, a bright force in the world, when it is at its darkest.  And similarly when the sun shines, sometimes we fade from view, though we are surely there.  We live in a mostly dark universe and often find ourselves pushed and pulled by forces often beyond our own choices.

Within an hour of learning about the Ring of Fire Eclipse, I had already yelled at my six year old to move faster so we wouldn’t be late to school, cursed myself for forgetting things on the way to the car, complained about the duration of the stoplight, and mentally cycled through today’s “To Do”  list.  And then…..I remembered.

I remembered, there is no such thing in this life as a coincidence.  The Ring of Fire Eclipse was God’s gift to me for today.  I had the day off.   Today I could live as the orbiting moon more centered on others expectations for me, than my own dreams, or I could order my day completely different!  I could run a mile.  I could finally start writing and begin a blog. I could eat nothing all day but healthy food.  I could go the rest of the day without complaining.    And SO I DID.

Because, I too have a Son that is always there, lighting my way.  Today I could tap into the Master Creator’s creativity, and though I can be outwardly bright to others, I know I sometimes carry a darkness I try to conceal. But today, I am surrounded by a ring of fire; and fire can sometimes reveal the true beauty found in the dark.

When I was all messed up, and I had opera in my head
Your love was a light bulb,  Hanging over my bed
Baby, baby, baby…light my way.             U2 “Ultraviolet”