Do you believe in coincidences? I know I’ve had enough of them in my lifetime to know they are for real. I started wondering just what a coincidence is. I found a couple definitions that attempted to explain the phenomena. One said, “Something that happens by chance in a surprising or remarkable way; the fact of happening by chance.” (Encarta World English Dictionary) Another said, “A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.” (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
But I am not fully satisfied with those descriptions. They both seem to assume that a coincidence is an accident. I tend to disagree. I’ve had enough of these “accidents” in my life to know that there must be some planning, some intention, behind them.
How do we recognize a coincidence? When something makes us stop in our day to day life and take notice, you can bet it’s not an accident. When an act grabs us at our core and causes us to bolt upright and try to question the why and the how, it’s most likely not an accident.
I think a coincidence is perhaps a little flag, a wake-up call if you will, that something magical is about to happen. It’s God’s way of drawing our attention to something, causing us to search ourselves, offering us a choice in our lives. I imagine it as coming to a fork in the path, not a clearly defined path, but one where the main path keeps going veering softly to one side. From the other side, there is a clearing, not a clear path that’s already been trodden, but just a clearing in the brush, an open invitation to explore there and to create a new path of discovery and growth.
That little clearing, that possibility, is not a final decision. It’s not a done deal. In fact, you can choose to stay on the path that is already proven and well-used. But that coincidence is an opportunity available to you. You can pursue it, or you can overlook it.
The coincidences in Treasure’s story makes people sit up and take notice. But had I decided not to pursue them, those coincidences would be lost forever. Lost opportunities and no one would have ever known.
I found Treasure in Missouri, right as she was being adopted by someone else … someone who just happened to live half way across the country, in PA, like me. Coincidence? You might say strange, perhaps. Treasure then ended up at the same rescue in MD where I had adopted previously. She could have ended up in any other sheltie rescue, or in any other place. But she ended up there – where I had contacts.
Coincidence? Perhaps. But I recognized those coincidences, those opportunities, and I asked about her description, and found out they had the exact same dog who I had been trying to adopt months previously. In fact, Treasure was in a foster home only a half hour from my home!
It was that first coincidence that caused me to take notice. What are the odds of a dog being adopted from a shelter half a continent away to the very state that I live in but not to me? I wasn’t sure where that path was going, but I knew I had to keep an eye on it and be aware. That something remarkable was about to happen. I didn’t have to wait for her. I could have pursued adopting a different dog once I knew Treasure had been adopted by someone else. In fact, I did have that opportunity given to me.
But by just being aware of that opportunity available to me, more and more coincidences (opportunities) made themselves available to me. Treasure has opened my world in ways I never would have imagined.
When people hear our story, they always comment that “it was meant to be.” It was meant to be. So how could a coincidence be by chance, or be accidental, when it is so right and meant to be? God had His hand in things from the start. He arranged for these things to fall into place. Things that I had no control over as they were happening. Thankfully, I have learned to be aware of coincidences in my life as opportunities for learning and growth. But sometimes they are subtle and would be easy to shrug off as I’m going through my hectic life.
I do believe in coincidences. They usually lead to amazing opportunities for exploration. I’ve made many new friends and relationships along the way. I’ve had the chance to do things that otherwise, I may not have experienced. I’ve been blessed to be able to share Treasure and her story with others, to touch their hearts. To renew their faith.
Coincidence? You decide.