Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's a Very Small World

It's such an incredibly small world we live in -- a fact that was perfectly illustrated by a seemingly happenstance encounter with a complete stranger who turned out to be just one degree removed from me.  This story occurred eight years ago, but I just ran across the photo and am once again struck by the wonder of this meeting.  Here's how it all happened:

Larry and I were driving along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina with his parents.  It was one of those sunny, blue-sky, brisk-weather kind of days in October when the leaves are just beginning to turn colors.  We had seen several groups of motorcyclists on our drive through the parkway and I was curious where all these adventurers were coming from.  We stopped at a Doughton Park Rest Stop where six of the cyclists had also stopped.

I'm a friendly kind of girl which, along with my curiosity, caused me to walk over to the group and start talking to them.  I asked where they were from and they said, "St. Augustine, Florida."  I chatted a couple more minutes and then mentioned that my sister lived on St. Simons Island, which is not too far from St. Augustine.  One of the women said, "Why, my husband works in Brunswick," which is next to St. Simons.

My next thought was, well, who drives 100 miles to work in Brunswick but FLETC people (that's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where my brother in law worked), so I said, "My brother in law works at FLETC."

They looked at me kind of funny and the guy (I later learned his name is Grant) said, "I work at FLETC." 

I'm thinking -- No way!!  And said, "Do you know Mike D____?"

He said, "I work in the office above him."

I was just blown away by the whole encounter!  What are the chances of me crossing paths with a friend of Mike's hundreds of miles from our homes and what are the chances I'd casually step over and start talking with them and what are the chances we'd make the connection?!

When people say, "What are the chances..." or "Statistically speaking, that's not possible..." or use the terms luck or random in conversation, I just shake my head and think, these words and phrases should not even be in the Christian's vocabulary (nor the non-Christians, but we won't go there).  God is in control of every nanoparticle and every nanosecond in all of creation.  An occurance like this "chance" meeting with Grant (not chance at all) is orchestrated by God and sent our way for a purpose. 

I believe God may have arranged this meeting to remind me how infinitely creative He is, as well as how in control of all things He is.  God has a delightful sense of humor at times as well -- sending a guy on a motorcycle with a bandana on his head who, forgive me Grant, looked a bit like one of those less-savory motorcycle types, but turned out to be a really nice guy.  That also reminds me of the lesson not to judge a book by its cover (or a person by his appearance).

If we have ears to hear and eyes to see, God will continually surprise and delight us with His manuevering of our steps to include some interesting diversions and encounters along our paths of life.  We'll find ourselves chuckling and shaking our heads in wonder and amazement time and time again!  "Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.  The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare" Psalm 40:5.

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