Close Chance Encounters

Mornings are best. Particularly this morning when a cold front came through and the fresh delightful breeze and hard frost on the ground crunched away the stress of Christmas preparations that I said I wouldn’t create again.

I walked with the dog mid-morning and we met a new neighbor. This homeowner was muttering about trying to find a better way to get rid of lawn debris and his terrier begged to play with my retriever. We let the pooches play in his front yard and began a pleasant verbal search to see if we had anything in common — besides the fact we can see through another neighbor’s property to each other’s when the leaves are off the trees. Aha….we have daughters who play travel soccer and we hope that high-level sports (and their attendant, unrelenting schedules) will help our girls do well in school by forcing an early understanding of time-management. It was a relaxed way to meet someone– when neither of us was in a rush (such a novelty with our area’s supercharged speed for everything)–to meet someone who lives close by. His daughters might become welcomed sitters . All this through a chance encounter.

As a member of our church’s prayer team I see a daily and weekly list of those in severe need of prayer. Souls fighting cancer always start the list — and their numbers are high and growing — and age has nothing to do with who is afflicted. I’ve been thinking about the swiftness of how life passes and re-read Ecclesiastes 9:11, “The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.”

Without God one could question, ” Is this all there is?” A friend recently confided, “I’m working hard to have a solid professional life, my family is doing well, I’m enjoying good health, but I’m wondering what’s next? Is this all there is?”  I should have been strong enough in my faith to use that opportunity to witness to her — but I sensed that I should be still. This was a close encounter, but with His presence in my life, I am convinced that it wasn’t chance. My prayer today (besides helping me place Christmas preparations in their proper perspective) is that He can lead me to witness — either through words or actions to those around me who are hunting for the answer to “Is this all there is?”

With blessings and kind regards to you all.


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