Friday Afternoon Confessional: Coincidence
While running yesterday, I got a reprieve from heat but was nearly smote by the humidity. I knew I was in trouble when I hadn’t even completed my mile warmup and looked down to see my shirt already soaked with sweat. I’m always kind of nervous about dehydration so I started thinking of ways to bail myself out if needed. This run was what’s called a tempo run where you do a one mile warmup, run a certain distance at the pace you expect to run your race – three miles in my case – and then a one mile cooldown at the same pace as the warmup. I figured if I needed to, I could forego the cooldown and just walk back to my car for the last mile rather than run.
As it turned out, I was watching my phone to see my time as I hit the four mile mark. I thought I would be able to just go ahead and finish the full five miles, but I hadn’t made a final decision. When I looked up from my phone, I saw a guy running the opposite direction with a prosthetic leg. It was one of those titanium things that’s shaped kind of like a question mark. I immediately thought, “Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and finish this run as planned.”
As I finished that last mile, I kept thinking of that guy running and my seeing him right when I was trying to decide if I wanted to finish my run or cut it short. I chuckled at the idea that my mom would probably say something like that was God letting me know I could finish. If she said something like that, I would probably replay with something snarky like, “Or that’s two schedules putting a guy with a prosthetic and me at the park at the same time.”
I have to admit those kind of coincidences can seem pretty powerful, though. All we have, after all, are our own experiences and when it seems like the world is impacting those experiences I can see the temptation to try to attach a larger significance to them. I confess this all led me to the thought “What if God is just coincidences?” Strangely enough, that thought made me think of this site and AUFS and I felt guilty for boiling the concept of God, which has generated so much thought and study and is powerful enough to cause millions of people to devote their lives to making sense of it, down to the kind of trite “philosophy” you come up with on a run.
I confess I didn’t care too much for having a day off in the middle of the week. I’m usually a pretty optimistic person but after having Wednesday off, I would say the week felt like it had two Mondays much more than it had two Fridays.
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