My mom’s name is Shirley…a fairly unique name as far as women’s names go. Out of all the girls with different names, I just happened to marry a girl with the same unique name…Shirley. Over the years I’ve started calling Shirley (my wife) “Lainey,” which is another fairly unique name; a take off of her middle name Elaine. Riley my oldest son has married a beautiful young lady from Tulsa. Her name? Laney.
I have a friend on Facebook whom I’ve never met personally but we’ve developed a great online friendship. He’s from Oregon, his name is John. I’ve got another friend on Facebook I’ve only met personally once but we’ve spoken on the phone a time or two. She lives in New York and her name is Joan. A while back I was reading Joan’s Facebook feed and found a comment from someone I didnt’ expect…John!
In college I had a university parking sticker on my car. The number on the sticker was 1605. And that number just happened to be my girlfriend’s (now my wife’s) home address.
I love these. The Chinese actually have a saying; “If there’s no coincidence, there’s no story.” And the fact is, coincidences have always made great stories.
But what do you think about coincidences? Do they just happen or is there some bigger purpose or power directing and these things that just seem to happen coincidentally. The dictionary defines a coincidence as a striking occurrance of two or more events at the same time apparently by mere chance.
Does God intervene in our lives this way or do things “just happen?” Is there such a thing as “mere chance?”
Jesus knew the power of coincidence and it’s staying power as a story. Remember the time when the temple tax had to be paid? Jesus, who probably didn’t carry around a lot of cash, told Peter to go out and catch a fish on a line. When Peter caught the fish he found a coin in it’s mouth…and paid the tax with that coin. Out of all the fish in the sea…Peter catches the one with a coin in it’s mouth.
I am one of those guys who happen to believe that there are very few coincidences in life. I think we’ll be very surprised when we get to Heaven and learn how much our Creator continues to control, arrange and orchestrate; even the stuff that seems to be so meaningless.
I believe it’s part of His nature. Part of His charm. (I can just imagine the wink in His eye) God knows the power of a story. He loves to do what no one would ever expect. So for me I believe that God directed me to a girl with the same name as my mom. He thought it’d be cool if out of all the four number combinations available, the number on my parking sticker would be the same as her home address. And He continues to amaze and delight by having my son find a girl to marry with the same name as his mom.
But that’s what I believe. What about you? Do you believe in coincidence? What’s your favorite story about a coincidence in your life?
Remember…if there’s no coincidence (or hand of God!) there’s no story.