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Nothing Happens By Chance

August 23, 2011

It occurs to me in moments of contemplation, of which I have many, that my life is somehow ordered, that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens by chance.  The intentionality of much that betides me is obvious, especially some of the major happenings,  since I tend to look for meaning in those.  But the little things tend to pass unnoticed, unquestioned.  But though often I do not understand the significance of small and seemingly inconsequential events at the time they occur, I later come to see them as being important building blocks in the process of my becoming who I am.  I do not initiate these things.  Often I feel led to them for reasons that I cannot apprehend at the time of the leading.

A thought manifests itself in my mind unbidden, like a whisper.  It hovers and circles, then wings away.  Only when the whisper returns at some later date, perhaps louder this time, do I recognize it as the voice of God.

I stumble upon a book, give it only cursory attention, perhaps enjoy it, but find its content of no great import and put it down, unmoved.  Later it calls out to me from its shelf, bids me take it down and revisit it.  Now the words spin off its pages, transfixing me, speaking to who I am.

I chance upon something of great beauty (or great monstrousness), stand in awe for a moment, then turn away to the mundanity of everyday life.  But the image is seared into my consciousness to forever colour how I see the world, often in ways that I could not have imagined.

I find some item of no discernable use to me, but it piques my interest and for some unexplained reason I decide to keep it.  It is only later, sometimes much later, I discover its worth to me, that it is the very thing to address a particular need.

A person happens into my life, walks with me awhile, and then our paths diverge.  Or perhaps we continue to walk together.  It is only later that I appreciate how much they have spoken into my life.   Only in looking backward do I arrive at the startling realization that I have walked with God.

There is no apparent reason at the time these events happen, no sense at all that they are indeed events, yet with the benefit of hindsight I later come to see that most assuredly they were, that these seemingly chance happenings were profoundly formative.  I see in them the hand of God.

More and more of late I find myself anticipating these moments.  I do not seek them, but I wait for them, watch for them.  More and more I recognize them as significant at the time of their happening.  I do not comprehend their meaning or what impact they will have on me, but I appreciate them as momentous.

Man dreams and desires; God broods and wills and quickens.

– from Lilith by George MacDonald

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