God incidences?

Now forgive me if this is long, rambling and a little confusing (a preface I should make to most of my sermons) but it’s late, I’m tired and I’m really trying to patch this together as I go… But here are what seemed at first to be unconnected pieces of different trivial jigsaws…

A morning spent preparing a sermon on John the Baptist and his use of Isaiah’s call to “Prepare the way of the Lord”… and looking at the fact that some people have hard roads to walk that are far from level…

A daytime detective story about involving figure skaters… I ended up watching it because I thought I had seen it before and then, before I could finish my late lunch, it lurched off in a completely different plot direction… and I was hooked…

An evening preparing a video for a carol service around the song “Silent Night”. Can’t decide on whether to use the version by the Blind boys of Alabama or Enya (although having seen a couple of other post’s today there are at least 2 other options, here and here).

Taking a break later for a cup of tea with my wife, flicked on CSI New York to an episode which turned out to be entitled “Silent Night” involving the murder of a deaf girl and the impact on her deaf family, and a second plotline about the death of a figure skater, which was actually the storyline I had seen before, and had mistakenly superimposed on the daytime pap.

Closing scenes involved a song by Jane Siberry entitled “Calling all angels” which includes the lines:

then it`s one foot then the other 
as you step out onto the road
how much weight? how much weight?
then it`s how long? and how far?
and how many times before it`s too late? 

calling all angels
calling all angels
walk me through this one
don`t leave me alone
calling all angels
calling all angels
we`re cryin` and we`re hurtin`
and we`re not sure why…

And we’re back round to difficult paths again…

My Mother in law makes a habit of collecting coincidences much more bizarre than these… she has even written a book about them, and talks about the phenomenon of the “library angel” when you pick up a book at random and read just the right thing that relates to something you are thinking about (If you want instructions on how to consult a “Library Angel” you can find some here… but I wouldn’t bother if I were you… as with most stuff about angels on the internet it is complete and utter gullible new age tosh… ). And it was this last connection with Ms. Sibley “calling all angels” (although invoking saints… when did people start confusing the two?) that drew all these trivial pieces together into something that sort of makes sense… if only for me.

Now there are those who will say that we only remember the rare incidences when the “library angel” has been at work, and not the millions of other times we have picked up a book at random and it has been inconsequential… And that most of the times the patterns that we make out of coincidental trivia, is a function of our brain being programmed to find order in the midst of chaos… And I, on the whole would agree… It’s hardly surprising that angels and “Silent night” should make an appearance around Christmas time…

But I still love it when it happens… Even if it is only a function of the way my brain has been programmed, I thank God for it… I thank God that he has given me a tool that helps me to find my way through the ups and downs of daily life, putting together the random bits and bobs of daily existence into something meaningful, and hopefully helping others to do so…

It was Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross who said “There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.” Just because she was wrong about stages of grief, doesn’t mean I’ll disagree with her on this, and it seems an approriate note for this attempt at an attentive pilgrimage.

So again, apologies if this rambling makes no sense because your brain hasn’t been progammed the same way as mine (ie badly) and you haven’t had the same experiences as me today, but may God help you to make sense of everything that comes your way this Advent season…

Prepare the way of the Lord, and may you walk with him in it…

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About virtualmethodist

Methodist minister based in the Agape Centre South Belfast, with a wife Sally & 2 sons, Owain & Ciaran. Main interests: theatre, books, community development, reconciliation and winding people up.
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3 Responses to God incidences?

  1. Should just explain… before I am excommunicated by my mother in law, when she talks about a “library angel” she does it in a figurative sense, as coincidences being little messages from God… It is the other “angels for all occasions” stuff that I was being dismissive of…

  2. tgwpage says:

    Helpful.
    Like the song lyrics.
    And point well made about God-given brain to see patterns and discern meaning.

  3. David says:

    I’d forgotten this… thanks for reminding me of it again Tim

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