The daily prompt today is “Coincidence.” My response? No such thing. I like the phrase, “Coincidence is God working anonymously.”
Now, I can take this to a ridiculous extreme. When I take everything as a Sign From God, I can look for “omens” to justify all kinds of ridiculous behavior. But when I stay centered, sometimes ‘coincidences’ can be a reminder or confirmation of the direction I’m going. I wrote about that in my last blog post, Checking My Direction.
I’m reminded of an incident that happened early in recovery, when I was just a couple/few weeks sober. When I got sober, I was preparing with a friend to follow the Grateful Dead (this was in 1988). We were busy making stickers, jewelry, and sewing to have stuff to sell so we could support ourselves on tour.
I already knew about the Wharf Rats, a group of clean and sober Deadheads who held a meeting during the intermission of every show. I figured that, since I could hang with other sober Deadheads, I could make it through tour and stay in recovery.
While that is probably true, things just weren’t working out. The sewing machines I was using kept breaking. After after about the 4th borrowed machine broke, I was frantic, all twisted up inside.
One night I was talking to a gal before a meeting and she said, “I can’t afford for anything to make me crazy.” I was able to hear her. At the meeting I shared that I was “letting go” of following the Dead for that tour because it was making me crazy and instead was looking for an apartment.
After the meeting, a lady gave me a phone number of someone who was renting out a small studio apartment. I took that and, since it was already late, decided to call in the morning. I went back to where I was staying, on my friend Corey’s hardwood floor, and went to sleep.
At about 2 in the morning, Corey was shaking me, telling me to wake up. He said, “you can’t stay here. You have to leave.”
I mumbled something like “OK, I’ll leave in the morning.”
“No, you don’t understand,” he said. “You have to leave right now.”
WTF?! He explained, “I couldn’t sleep so I took a walk. God told me that you have to leave right now.”
Now I knew that he was crazy. I (very noisily) stomped and gathered my stuff and put it in the car I was borrowing, making sure to slam the house and car doors extra loud. I drove to Genie’s house, the friend I had borrowed the car from, parked in her driveway, and slept in the car.
In the morning, I went up to Genie’s apartment to use her phone (this was way before cell phones). My friend was in the room when I called the phone number.
“Is this [the name on the paper-no idea who that was now]. A friend said you had an apartment to rent.”
As soon as I hung up, Genie said, “That’s my aunt and uncle you just called.” She went with me to see the place. They said that, because I was a friend of Genie, I could move in right then, get them rent and deposit when I could.
That is what “coincidences” look like in my life. There is no way I could have planned or manipulated that into happening. Did Corey really hear a voice that night, or was he just sick of my whiney ass? If I had called at any other time, from any other place, I probably would not have gotten the apartment.
Today, I know that the second I ‘give up’ or let go of what I so desperately want, god has room to work and the miracles can happen.
I would love to hear what some “coincidences” looked like for you.