Coincidence or providence? ... Sometimes we don't know until we look deeper

Coincidence or providence? ... Sometimes we don't know until we look deeper

This is something I've been tripping on these past couple weeks. I've starting looking at life through this new lens of providence, and things look different. I'm realizing coincidence disregards something that might have a brightness or lesson to it.

I have a friend of over 20 years named "Jack. "He’s someone I used to work a lot with, but over the years I've come to truly enjoy being around him. We would hang at times on my many trips to New York City over the years. We’ve shared some incredibly good times, usually around getting really drunk together, laughing very hard and dissecting the meaning of life. Jack challenges me; he is reckless and has always had a perspective on life I admire. He is a beloved person who brings joy to the people around him, and he’s a little crazy.

Through my early recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s become more important to me to reconnect with the people who mean something to me. I've been thinking about Jack, and I haven’t connected with him for over a year. While thumbing through Instagram the other day I saw a fluffy post of him riding through the mountains on this motorcycle, loving life, full of rainbows and unicorns. It didn't read right. I sent him a text saying, “I miss you, love you lots.”

He immediately called me, said he was also thinking about me, and we caught up on everything. He needed to get out of New York City, so he was randomly in Idaho just doing something different.

It was refreshing to chop it up with this guy I genuinely care about, and I reluctantly acknowledged: “Listen man, I've been doing a lot of self-reflection and have realized I have a dysfunctional relationship with alcohol that has just become unmanageable.”

“Whoa” he said, “I would have never expected you to get sober. I'm really proud of you.”

I was relieved this was received so positively, which is the feedback and support I get from anyone I love and have confided in about all this. I'm only 50 days sober, so I have a long way to go, but I'm feeling better than ever and realizing things I never thought possible.

“That’s awesome” he said, and after a brief moment of awkward silence, “I haven’t had a drink in about 236 days. I'm almost getting to the point of not counting days.”

A rush of calm came over me, our friendship just entered a new chapter and will never be the same it once was. I was blown away. Jack is the last person I ever thought I would be having this conversation with, but we both knew how important this moment was. It’s now cut into stone that I will know him for the rest of my life. He is now a mentor.

I can easily chalk this up to coincidence, but choosing to look at this from the lens of providence gives me a sense of new meaning, an importance that offers far more worth than disregarding and casting away. Who knows why this happened this way? Who cares? What I do know is this was a gift from something larger.

It feels right.