Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Coincidence, or Providence?

By L.A. Kohl
February 16, 2007
(published in the Feb. 28, 2007 edition of the Bullseye)

February…in spite of the snow and frigid temperatures, it’s a month of romance and love, isn’t it?

Often at this time of year, I find myself reflecting on the “love of my life”…not just because of Valentine’s day, but also because that life-altering, first date occurred for us on February 19.

The year was – on second thought, let’s skip that detail – and the place was the Westran Courtwarming dance. We were both juniors in high school; young, idealistic, and with no idea of the journey we were beginning to embark upon with that first date.

Have you ever stopped to ponder the circumstances that brought you and your mate together? To me personally, when I take the time to think about it, those circumstances are nothing short of miraculous.
Nate didn’t move to Huntsville, Missouri until his sophomore year of high school – he was Iowa born and bred. I didn’t get to know him until sometime after that; even then, we were just friends. And then, four short months after we started dating, his family moved again – two hours away. Thus, there are a lot of “what ifs” in our scenario that could have turned out much differently.

Perhaps the first, and biggest one was “What if his family had never moved to central Missouri?” After all, the Kohl’s had been farming in eastern Iowa for over 100 years, and still are to this day – why would one of them chose to move elsewhere?

And in that one’s desire to find more affordable farm land…why did he choose central Missouri, out of all the other states and locations he considered? The fact of the matter is, Nate’s father decided way back in the early 1950’s, when he was just a young, single man in the Marines, that someday he would like to own a large farm in central Missouri.

Perhaps it’s self-centered of me, but I like to think that it was all “providential”…with some greater plan at work than anyone realized.

And then what made Nate decide to ask me out when he did? (Actually, if the truth be told, he had asked me out previously, but I turned him down…let’s not dwell on that.) What if he hadn’t gotten up enough nerve to ask me a second time…and then a few months later his family had moved away and I never saw him again? Believe me, I’ve thanked God many times that Nate was a determined young man! And again, I believe a greater plan was in the works, and not just mere coincidence.

I say all of this to encourage you to take a moment and consider your own story. Whether you grew up next door to your spouse, or met them half a world away from home…I believe in many cases, there was some element of “providence” that brought you and your spouse together. I know not everyone has a storybook type of romance – in fact, some of you may even believe that your first encounter with your future spouse turned into more of a nightmare than a dream. I’m very sorry that life is sometimes like that – but we are all human, and humans are prone to make bad choices on occasion, especially if providential guidance is ignored.

But if you are truly grateful for your spouse, then take a few moments together to reflect upon your not-so-coincidental beginnings, and to thank the One who brought it all to be.

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