Some believe that fate has us on a predetermined path that we create for ourselves based on the culmination of our actions, behaviors, thoughts, history, knowledge, wants, needs, fears, anxieties, desires, passions, perceptions, and the influence of others. Yet, the universe is also governed by what philosophers and mathematicians like to call randomness or ‘chance’. Those who have been lucky enough to encounter such an event in their life claim that it presents an opportunity that can completely flood the worn road of fate.

I used to be a skeptic of such once-in-a-lifetime events. It wasn’t until chance herself showed up one night and took me by storm that I was able to understand her power and mystery. It was a seemingly innocuous first encounter, but she brought with it the winds of change and transformation that I am still unable to fully comprehend. The opportunity that chance provided me was a doorway to a new and foreign place of blinding beauty. As a person who welcomes opportunities of growth, I jumped across the threshold at maximum height and full speed. But I don’t remember landing. The next thing I knew was waking up cold, alone and confused. What happened? Where am I? Who am I? Is anyone else here?

It turns out that chance is real, and the rumors about her are true. She will appear when you are least expecting her, and will provide an opportunity for amazing character building and spiritual formation. But here is a warning to those who have not yet met chance. Pain and messiness are the prerequisites to embracing the fullness that a chance event has to offer. She will absolutely wreck you and will take you to the lowest point in your life. I am getting back up, and I am fighting through the swamp toward the promised land. Maybe chance is merely God’s hand in disguise guiding us toward a better life. Or maybe, it is fate that is masquerading as chance — urging us on toward a new beginning.

Originally published 10/18/15.