Saturday, October 28, 2006

No such thing as a coincidence?

In the mystery stories I like to read, the characters will occasionally encounter some incredible coincidence which of course has great significance to the plot, then announce to each other that there is no such thing as a coincidence. In fiction, that's probably true, but in life? I wonder if everything's connected by a Divine hand, or if it's the way we make the associations that creates that patterns that in turn give meaning to our lives. Maybe a bit of both?

I stopped working at my desk to enjoy a few quiet minutes before I had to leave for work yesterday. This is something I keep making resolutions to do, but things always get ahead of me. There is always more I wanted to accomplish each morning, and I so I always seem to be falling behind according to my mental plan for the day before the day's even really started. And it's true that commuting gives me plenty of time for thoughts and prayers, but I find that generally it's not such a good idea to close your eyes and empty your mind while driving--although at times the traffic moves so slowly I don't think it would make much difference if I did. Anyway, I had taken my hands off the keyboard, leaned back in my comfortable desk chair, closed my eyes, and tried to step away from everyday pressures and concerns. I put my usual question to God: Where am I going in all of this, and what am I suppose to do next? This lasted for about two minutes before the phone rang.

What to do? Answer it, or sit listening to it ring and waiting for the answering machine to pick up? After two rings I answered. It was the priest from my church, calling to follow up on my offer to work on the church website. Among other things, he would like to see it grow to be more of a spiritual resource. I'm excited about doing that, and when he thanked me for volunteering I told him I was glad to have an opportunity to make a contribution in an area where I feel modestly competent, since planning teas and such--the other areas where they've been looking for volunteers lately--definitely is not my area of expertise.

So I was glad I picked up the phone, and I think maybe the call did represent an answered prayer, though I must say that I'm not accustomed to receiving such a prompt and direct response, and I'd like it if that trend continued!

I am still waiting, though, for a response to my request for information about the program in spirituality I mentioned in a recent blog. I know it's not an emergency but I am excited about the idea and eager to have more details to consider. If nothing comes by the end of next week I'll call, but I'd rather not have to do that because my thoughts about this are still in a state where I'm not sure what I'd say if asked why I'm interested. Some things are easier (?) to write about than to talk about.

A final comment: Today is my 28th wedding anniversary (28 on the 28th, and to make things even more connected, we will be back this morning in the place where we were married, for a memorial service for a man who attended the wedding and went outside when it was over to paint a glorious picture of the scene--blazing fall foliage and all--that hangs in an honored place in my living room). Love is still a miracle and a mystery, which I continue to explore and understand only a little more with each passing year. Marriage is a relationship that in some ways resembles the relationship we have with God: we love, we trust, we try to live in harmony with the Other, we have confidence that we are loved in return. With God, though, we believe that love will never be withdrawn, that trust will never be violated. In the human relationship we know it could happen, and yet because of a promise exchanged we go on living as if it won't happen, and that is what makes it both scary and miraculous. The adventure continues ...

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