Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God's amusing and weird sense of humor

We’ve all experienced them at one time or another—those moments when a coincidence reminds us that the world truly is very small, and that we’re all connected somehow.

Like the day I told my children a story about Jill, my high school friend from Louisiana, and then Jill randomly happened to call me. Or how for six months we admired the house that we now live in before it went on the market—the month that we began to seriously look for a home in Norman.

How about the summer vacation when we set up our tent at the Moraine Park Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park and discovered that the people in the next campsite lived not only in Oklahoma, and in Norman, but also in our same neighborhood!

Some people call this serendipity, or simply luck. Others say that coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous. I call it God’s (sometimes very weird and) always-surprising sense of humor.

Whatever you choose to call it, coincidences become moments of opportunity. I can either shake my head at the seemingly random chance happening, or I can see God’s hand at play in the situation.

To see God—and to acknowledge all as God’s gift—requires awareness. This is a spiritual attitude, and a deliberate daily habit that demands my practice and discipline. It invites me to be attentive to the hand of God at work all around me.

So perhaps when I happen to run into—for the third time this week--that same person unexpectedly at the bank, I'll take notice. Or maybe the next time I walk into the Firestone and realize I'm sitting next to an old friend, I can make a point of being present to her as if God had arranged the meeting.

Perhaps God has!