|Me at Serendipity 3 in NYC. Yes, I bring out the Kool-Aid smile when a large ice cream sundae is placed in front of me.|
No, not that kind of Serendipity... Not the kind with about 10,000 calories. I'm talking the "Everything Happens for a Reason" serendipity. Although the 10,000 calorie Serendipity is nice too.
Yesterday, my new co-worker told me a story about how he and his wife, who is over 8 months pregnant, have been living in separate countries for several months due to circumstances they could not control. The job he accepted with our company happens to be sending him to the country where his wife is currently living, about 3 weeks before their first child is to be born.
When he told me this story, all I could think of was "Everything happens for a reason". The job became available right when he was desperate to find a way to get to his wife. Things like this don't happen by accident.
I'm not a hugely religious person, which is no surprise to those who know me. I was raised Catholic, but after high school, I found myself going to church much less frequently. But I will be the first to admit, there is a bigger power out there.
Sometimes we can't understand why things happen to us. Why we have to endure physical, mental, and emotional pain. Why we have to struggle. Why we have to watch others struggle.
I don't know the answers to these questions, but one thing I do know is that with every struggle I have gone through, eventually, I have been able to see why it had to happen. Sometimes it takes years before I see the reason, sometimes much less, but I always end up understanding. And because of this, I know there is someone looking out for me. Maybe it's my grandfather. Or my Auntie Evie. Or my Uncle Mike or my cousin Julie (they were both tricksters!). Whoever it is, I know they are making sure that from every struggle, I learn.
My husband was supposed to be in downtown Manhattan on September 11, 2001, but someone forgot the tools they needed to do the job they were assigned so instead, they were on their way back to Queens when the first tower was hit. I bet in the moment when they realized they forgot the tools, they were frustrated and angry. But I bet in the moment when they heard what happened, they were relieved.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, it's hard to deny that there are many happy accidents that have no clear explanation. Whether that happy accident is making it back to your wife just before she gives birth to your beautiful new child or heading in the opposite direction from a major terrorist attack or getting delayed on your walk just long enough to run into an old friend, serendipity is truly the work of something much greater than us.
And because I want to end this post on a funny note, this quote: