Sacred Synchronicity: When Life Comes Together

Synchronicity is "the coincidence of events that seem related". It is a coming together of events, people in places and in time that could not manipulated or “MANiuplated.”(Emphasis entirely my own and intentional.)As we look back on our lives, we can most likely remember times in our lives when a door opened that changed our direction or perhaps our entire life.  Somehow and in some unimagined way, things came together and this coming together was a good thing--a very good thing. Before THAT precise time, life looked cloudy—foggy and it was hard to find the way. There was no coming together. There was no synchronicity.  But then the fog lifts or the cloud separates, the light comes and we see...oh, do we see.For those of us have have been raised in the church, there is some church language which speaks of a similar kind of synchronicity. But in the church world, it is called, “divine providence.” Divine providence "is the governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe."  Honestly, it's easy for us to get tripped up on words like "governance" and such and in the getting tripped up, alas we have over 250 Christian denominations who cannot agree on the amount of water to baptize someone or the alcoholic content of grape juice or wine. It's sad that we cannot major on the majors and minor on the minors.I think perhaps because most of my work is with people have suffered at the hands of hair splitting doctrine and pulpit pounding preachers, that I feel at liberty to choose another way to explain what I want to give a witness to at this important stage of my life.I once heard a very distinguished theologian say that there is no such thing as “divine” providence for all providence is divine. That, again, seems more to me like splitting hairs and fighting about words which folks in the church world are experts at. What's important here is to expand our thinking and our experience a bit and to wake up to some of the mysterious ways of God that we cannot explain in a PowerPoint presentation or in a bullet point list of explanations.Synchronicity helps me embrace mystery more than logic. It helps me live in the clouds of the transfiguration moments of my life rather than choosing to be like Peter in that precise moment of a cloud enveloping him and choosing to do a logical, manipulated, developed strategy of build three, mind you, monuments.  And Luke gets us to laugh at the Peter in each of us when he says, "He, Peter did not know what he was saying" (Luke 9:33).One of the great malady's of our particular day and age is that we have left mystery and embraced  a more left brain approach to knowing God. It's a desolation for sure. Because what embracing mystery and synchronicity teaches us is that God is in love with cloud like moments in our lives and in the clouds is where we can experience God most deeply. It is in the clouds where the transfiguration moments happen or they do not happen at all, perhaps.But the more I sit with with the word “synchronicity” the more I am liking this term: Sacred Synchronicity. By this I mean, that when things in life come together in such a way that there is no real human explanation for it is just as a sacredness to it.It felt like sacred synchronicity when Gwen and I met each other and finally realized that “we” were meant to be. We attended the same high school. Raided in the same town. But I never knew her until sacred synchronicity unfolded.  It felt other worldly. It felt, as I look back on it as sacred synchronicity.It felt like sacred synchronicity with Gwen and I had a vision to move out west from North Carolina to pioneer and envision an entirely brand new ministry called, Potter’s Inn. There was a "done-ness" in me that invited me to leave all I knew and to embark on a journey with great risk and danger. Yet we did it and that moment of choosing to follow the unknown path has made all the difference in my life, marriage, family and heart. That "done-ness" led us to a synchronicity of beginning Potter's Inn and again at this important time of envisioning a new chapter of our lives as we reposition and prepare ourselves to slow down and throttle back. You know, "retire."It felt like sacred synchronicity when on a frigid, cold, windy day in January 2018, I met a man who I just somehow knew would one day buy our very own retreat that we have labored so hard to establish and build for these 20 years. His heart and my heart met while climbing the summit at the retreat and I felt a deep, surreal—impression that “this” was the person to take the retreat and to continue to use the retreat for God’s glory.The sacredness of events in our lives that truly do “come together” in a way that there is no real, logical, left brain, linear way of explaining the coming together but by God.This is really a foundational principle taught by Paul, the writer of most of our New Testament about a God who cares and who is able to orchestrated events in a way that is beyond the human capacity to do. One verse that we often quote or go to for comfort was penned by Paul when he said:"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good" (Romans 8:26-26, Message).This is a foundational principle that Ignatius of Loyola expounded upon in his brilliant treatise four hundred years ago. It is simply this: In life, we learn to see God in all things. God in all things becomes our heart beat. God in all things becomes our heart's desire. For once you've tasted the good wine of tasting God's goodness in this, I'm not sure you can ever go back.We see God in the details or our events. We see God in the movement in nature and in the movements within the human heart. We can learn to trace his movement to see a sort of sacred synchronicity happening and we are humbled by it. We drop to our knees because of it. We wind is knocked out of us and we breath both shallow and then sigh in magnificent relief.The journey of discernment—of seeing clearly—of seeing through the fog and beyond the clouds and to see into the very heartbeat of a very personal God who loves us enough to show off a bit by bringing things together from time to time so that we might enjoy his power; his ability; his might and his great care.