Faith, Fate, and Choice

Most people I know, whether they profess to be religious or not, do have a sense of faith. For the religious, their faith may be grounded in Christianity or a more specific denomination, such as Catholicism, or perhaps in the Jewish tradition, or in some of the branches of Islam. Others may identify as spiritual rather than religious. What they all have in common, is faith and a belief in a power higher than the human self.

Most faithful believe in some way that certain things are “meant” to happen, that they are matters of fate. Even in non-traditional beliefs, there is a sense that certain things if not all things happen because they are predestined. Whether due to the Universal Life Force, God’s will, the alignment of the stars and planets, or any other force, it is beyond the control of the human condition and the power of us mere mortals.

And then we come to the matter of choice. How does choice enter in to our lives if all is predestined, aligned with the stars, or God’s will? vfp100_dogwoodWhat if it is all part of the same? What if, in the genius of this world’s creation, regardless of what power that was, all elements are in perfect alignment with each other and there is no separation? What if we could or would look at everything that happens, regardless of why something happens, as perfect? Whether by faith, by fate, or by choice, what if you believed that everything was simply as it should be? How would that change the way you looked at your world and the world around you?

Maybe, just maybe, when we have faith in a higher power, all that happens is perfect. Maybe when things happen because they are predestined, all is perfect. And maybe, just maybe, when we, ourselves, choose to create events in our lives, to create the realization of dreams and attainment of goals, to determine our own journeys through life, then what we accomplish is perfect, as well.

Next time someone in front of you is driving slowly and you feel yourself getting frustrated, perhaps you could wonder if avoiding an accident is part of the perfection you are meant to experience. Perhaps the next time something does not go your way, you could see that as perfect for you to experience, whether you know why in that moment or not. And next time you feel that someone is unkind to you, perhaps you can have compassion for whatever they may be going through and wish them well. And maybe, just maybe, someone will return the perfect kindness at the perfect time, for you. How cool is that?

A “Karl Day” and There Are No Accidents

As many of you know, each Wednesday is “Karl Day,” a day I take time for myself. I usually go to the chiropractor, exercise with my trainer (SuperSlow®), get a massage, and do other activities that nourish and strengthen my body, my soul, and my spirit. This past Wednesday, December 8, 2010, on my way to the chiropractor, I met a young woman on a country road, and though we didn’t know each other before this meeting, I do believe we were meant to meet on this day.

As I was heading north on Vestal Road, north of Township (300S), I noticed a van coming toward me, and it was moving into my lane. I flashed my lights but the van kept coming over. I thought for sure the driver must be texting but that he or she would notice my lights and move back. The van kept coming, and I noticed the driver looking down. I moved over, off the road as far as I could, but the road there is lined with telephone poles and there is a ditch and then a plowed field. The van kept coming toward me, and I had no where else to go. I saw the van hit me just in front of my door, heard the crash, saw my driver’s side mirror slam against the door, and my car was punted into a spin. Thanks to my time at Bob Bondurant’s driving school and many years of driving (as some of you know, I love to drive), I was able to get the car under control after a few maneuvers. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the van come to a stop. I put my car in reverse and went as fast as I could, then pulled off the road to get out to talk with the driver. Having thought the driver was texting, I was certainly going to have a chat about that. I saw the young woman who had been driving the van approach, and she was crying, “I’m so sorry, are you okay…” I tried getting out of my car, but the door had been damaged so much that I couldn’t open the door. I crawled over the console and got out on the passenger side, walked around my car and said to the young woman, in not my softest voice, “Were you texting?”

She said she was so sorry, and said, “NO, I never do that” about my accusing question. I looked at her van and noticed her front left tire was flat and the wheel was a mess. There was also some damage to the left front fender. She said her tire blew, and she was doing everything she could to get back in her lane, but that she just couldn’t get it to move. She said she was looking down because she thought there might be something wrong with the steering wheel. She said again, how sorry she was. I asked her if she was okay, and she said yes, though I could tell she was shaken. I then turned to look at my car….

To make a long story short, the woman and I are both fine, though both vehicles had to be towed away. It was a very cold morning to have an accident, to miss the appointments I look forward to (and my body appreciates), and to have my car wrecked. I also believe that I was meant to be there at that time, perhaps so that the young woman could hold her 2 year old son with her loving embrace (thankfully, he was not with her at the time of the accident). She told me that had I not been there at that time, she would surely have either hit a telephone pole or gone into the field and flipped. By her hitting my car, she was bumped back into her lane, giving her time to stop on the dry pavement. Off of the road’s surface was snow covered. I do believe there are no accidents, that everything happens for a reason, and though we may never know what the reason is, I like to think that perhaps there was some good that came out of this rather than that, quite simply, my car got crunched and I missed my appointments.

She could not have been more sorry, breaking down in tears several times. I gave her a hug and told her that I was glad she was okay, that I was okay, and that stuff can be replaced. I just may have been her angel on that “Karl Day.” It is likely a day that neither of us will forget, anytime soon.

No matter what happens in life, it is how we deal with what happens that determines our destiny. When something awful happens, there may just be a silver lining. We may have to look hard to find it, but I believe there is one, nonetheless. How cool is that?

Love and Blessing to you all. I appreciate your loving comments (FB, texts, etc.).

Karl