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Driving back from my business interests in Asheville, NC, to my home in TN was always a very pleasant and scenic drive. On one such trip, which usually took less than two hours, I turned off on a particular road and suddenly didn’t know where I was. There wasn’t a single reason for me to have turned off on that road. Since I’ve made this journey so many times, I felt I could do it with my eyes closed. My wife asked me, “Where on earth are you going?”
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
Not a single thing or event in our lives is devoid of significance. I’m used to paying acute attention to the signs around me, and I’m not just talking about stop signs. You see, that little diversion only took about ten minutes, but those ten minutes might have saved our lives.
Finally, we got back to the regular road, which was a rather narrow country road on which some folks had the habit of going entirely too fast. You may have already guessed it; there was a terrible car wreck right in the middle of a blind curve. Fortunately, there were emergency personnel already on the scene. We slowly inched along the shoulder past the smashed-up vehicles and wondered how anyone could have survived that accident.
I wondered again at my seemingly temporary loss of memory on this most familiar road. Was this an unconscious choice that I made to protect and preserve our lives? Was this choice destiny? How many times in your life have you found yourself annoyed over some seemingly trivial event or delay? How many close calls have we all had and yet forgotten that perhaps moments ago we found ourselves irritated by a driver going too slow, or our plane being late, or having to tend to a last bit of unfinished business when we were in a hurry? What if, in eliminating those little vicissitudes, we would have set ourselves up for tragedy?
Of course, we’ll never have the answer to that. It’s probably impossible to calculate the odds and myriad factors that would enter the equation. But it does give us another way of looking at our lives, as well as the trivial events we tend to get upset over. I’ve personally discovered that when I take it all in stride, I’m more conscious and sensitive to the things that might endanger my life and well-being, as well as the well-being of those close to me.
Is it true that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die,” as Ecclesiastes says? Or can we choose our destiny by our conscious awareness of what our internal antenna picks up on?
I’m in no way attempting to supply an answer, only an observation. Personally, my questions keep dissolving as my answers become meaningless. Life is! And I’ve discovered, at least for me, that only by living without final answers can one actually find the freedom to truly live. Is that a choice, or is it destiny?
Reflections from Turtle Lake,
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