If It’s Odd, It’s God

I love a good coincidence and I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, here’s one that happened to me in the past week. The chain of events leading to the coincidence started in April when a man contacted me via Instagram from Lebanon. I don’t know how he found me but he’s a part of my spiritual community so I asked if he’d like to join a WhatsApp group we have for the young and youngish folks. In May, he shared a kiirtan, which for the unfamiliar is a Sanskrit word that means chanting the name of God. Popular kiirtans are Hare Krishna, Sita Ram, and Om Namah Shivaya.

I repeatedly played the kiirtan he sent and finally asked, “Who is the singer?” He told me the name but because it’s long and in Sanskrit, I’ll refer to him as “Dada S.” A few weeks later, I had a strong urge to host a group meditation at my apartment, which I haven’t done since February. When I emailed my community asking, “If I hosted, who would come?” the local monk said, “I’ll be there along with a visiting monk named … Dada S,” the very same Dada S whose kiirtan I’d been listening to on repeat! I took that as a sign that yes, I should host a group meditation.

pineapple on the beach

Why is this pineapple on the beach? Unclear! Photo by Caleb Vandenheuvel on Unsplash

For context, this monk has worked in Lebanon for the past 10 years or so and is visiting the U.S. for a brief stint. I had the group meditation last week and I’m glad I did because it was incredibly sweet. And if I hadn’t hosted the meditation, we wouldn’t have met because the monk is currently staying an hour south of where I live. (I don’t have a car and the mensch who usually shuttles me to events down there is currently out of town.)

So many small decisions coalesced for our meeting to take place but that’s the thing about “coincidences” – there are always a series of small decisions or actions that culminate in a coincidence. For this reason, my spiritual teacher says nothing is coincidental, everything is incidental. However, what usually happens is we aren’t privy to the behind-the-scenes decisions and actions. That’s probably why some people, myself included, use the expression, “If it’s odd, it’s God.”

When something is a mystery, it’s easier to chalk it up to God and leave it at that. I do that too and marvel at how life can feel magical. But what’s interesting about the coincidence I just experienced is that despite knowing the backend of how my encounter with Dada S came to pass, I still think it’s magical and funny and interesting. It still feels like God.

So much of life can feel random and chaotic but when I experience coincidences, I get a glimpse of Divine Order. It’s like God is winking at me, saying, “Hi, yes, I’m here.” I’m reassured that there is a Divine Intelligence at play in my life and no, I’m not rolling around like a billiard ball bumping into one thing after another haphazardly. Instead, there is an unseen force orchestrating events and the question becomes, am I willing to pay attention?

I dream of a world where we realize nothing is coincidental, everything is incidental. A world where we realize we may not know the initial cause but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. A world where we remember there is a guiding force in our life that arranges circumstances and events for our benefit. A world where we remember if it’s odd, it’s God.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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