I don’t believe in happenstance or accident, and I wouldn’t say I believe in fate, nor would I say that our futures are definite and I wouldn’t say our actions are deterministic. I think that there are designed paths for us to follow.
A diverging of roads.
I was set on getting my hair cut last week with my tip money. In fact, I was going to get my hair cut on my birthday, but as I have been stressed about money and I was conflicted about whether I should spend it on a hair cut or a nicer lunch, I went for the lunch and putting off of the hair cut until this week. I had to get the hair cut today because tonight I head south for one of my good friend’s wedding. I wanted to look nice for the event, especially seeing as I would be in their official wedding pictures. Had I not gone today (and had I not stayed late at work to do the tips so I could use them for the hair cut) I would’ve missed a serendipitous moment.
I sat down as my barber wrapped the “bib” around me when a regular, I assume, walked by and handed my barber a bottle of champagne and wished him a happy Birthday. Following that moment the barber to my left, a bubbly Russian woman, tells her client how unique it is that today is my barber’s birthday when her birthday was only five days ago.
“You mean, the first?” her client says.“Yes, thee furst of Joolye”“How funny because that is my birthday”
I pause a moment. My birthday is July first as well.
“That’s my birthday, too”“You’re kidding!”“How vonderfull! Ve shall all hav thee champagne! Ve all shall hav a drink. And I hav to take a pikture of us”
The rest of the hair cut was a jubilant conversation about how fortuitous it was that all three of us, the russian barber, her client and myself, had the same birthday along with my barber whose birthday was today.
I don’t believe in coincidence.
I wasn’t going to get the haircut because I am really concerned about the money, but along the way, God aggressively (in my perception) chastised me, reminding me of the countless times He’s provided and how I only needed to trust Him.
Because of how I view the world, as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie puts it, I have a “poets weakness for symbols”. I see patterns in everything, meaning in the most minor of details.
If God can bring a 62 year old Upper West Sider, a Russian Barber and me into the same shop who have the same birthday for a little late celebration of champagne and hair cutting, I think He can provide for my needs. I think He play against small odds.
On a side, but similar note, yesterday while doing devotions in Union Square, I paused to take a picture for a family that sat next to me. The father began to chat with me and in the conversation it comes up that he is a Pastor from north of LA visiting his sister who is an actor. We chatted about faith in the city, what it means to follow God in these modern times and what following Him means in relation to sacrifice. At the close of the conversation he introduced me to his sister who gave good advice and he took my info. God works in the small, seemingly insignificant details and moments.
He sets up serendipity.