We have all had coincidences happen to us, and we may think about them for a time, and also wonder as to why did this chance meeting, phone call, or specific event happen to me right now? First, let's look at one common definition of the word, "coincidence."
A coincidence may be defined as a sequence of unplanned events that happen at exactly the right time and directly and positively relate to each other.
One of my all-time favorite books is devoted to this subject of coincidence. The book is entitled: "When God Winks - How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life." This best-selling book was first published in 2001 and is written by Squire Rushnell, a former executive with the ABC television network. Early in his very successful career, he started noticing times when all things seem to come together, at exactly the right time and place, to benefit all parties concerned. He then started paying close attention to these frequent coincidences, and he coined the term "God Winks".
Here are three definitions from his great "When God Winks" book. Coincidence - A sequence of events that although accidental, seems to have been planned or arranged. Wink - To give a signal or express a message. God Wink - A personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence.
If we stop and think about it for a moment, most of us can recall a specific coincidence that happened to us and affected our life in a most significant way. It may have to do with a new or renewed relationship, a chance meeting with someone who has just the right advice for you, a career or educational opportunity that was not planned or expected, or just a simple happening such as finding a long-lost or forgotten item that now has an even more special meaning for you. Sometimes we choose to share these coincidences with friends and family, and other times they are personal and kept to ourselves.
Of course, there are many high profile coincidences that gain much press and often make us think about the true odds of that event ever happening on its own. Following is just one example of an extremely unlikely and very positive high profile coincidence that happened before the tragic killing of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.
The year before the assassination of President Lincoln, his son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was waiting for a train in New Jersey when he fell onto the tracks very close to a departing train. He was then quickly pulled to safety before the train could run over him and take his life. After his very close brush with death, he turned to thank his rescuer and was surprised to see it was the famous and well known actor, Edwin Booth. In what is now considered one of the most remarkable coincidences in history, the son of President Lincoln was rescued by the brother of the man who later assassinated President Lincoln.
In this great book, "When God Winks," Squire Rushnell gives many examples of coincidences that have helped many people successfully navigate their career, interests, and relationships. After I read this book, I now pay attention to the many coincidences that frequently occur in my life and those that are shared with me by family and friends.
In fact, most of my friends and family rarely use the term coincidence, and now almost always refer to coincidences as "God Winks." You might also consider thinking about some of the coincidences that may have occurred in your life.
Editor's note: Dr. Jim Surrell, author of "SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet," has his practice at the Digestive Health Clinic at Marquette General Health System. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.