Fate is like that unannounced guest who invites himself over for dinner and accidently sets the house on fire or who shows up on your doorstep with the wallet you unknowingly dropped in the Subway parking lot, cash still enclosed. You were not expecting or prepared for Fate’s presence, but here he is intervening in the trajectory of your life.
Fate, as an agile athlete: Case Study #1
When I was in third grade, I walked to and from school with a gaggle of neighborhood kids. The sidewalk path paralleled a busy highway that cut through our small town. We played games, told jokes and swapped stories, passing by worn out houses with unkempt lawns and mom and pop businesses.
My parents tried to protect me from the potential dangers that threatened a young girl walking alone to and from school by establishing strict safety rules: Don’t run; look both ways before crossing the street; do not go into Kellogg’s grocery store to buy candy; don’t enter anyone’s house; bring your little sister straight home after school, stay on the sidewalks…
I broke all of their rules.
The rule I broke most frequently was no running. I loved to run. It was my super power.
Think Captain America chasing down the villains, but in this case, the mean boys who bothered my friends. However, one fateful afternoon while in hot pursuit of justice, I crashed into the side of a car backing out of a driveway.
I never saw the beige sedan until the vehicle appeared in my path, and I crunched into it’s rear driver’s side door with my shield, or rather my lunchbox against my chest. Stunned, shocked and embarrassed, I pulled myself together, tears threatening to fall. I hoped no one took notice or paid attention to Fate’s presence.
Living in a small town meant that my parents knew about the “close call” before I arrived home. They sat me down for a long discussion about the dangers of racing past driveways. “Amy, you have to assume drivers are not looking out for pedestrians. You could have been really hurt.”
But is that true? I just as easily could have walked in the path of an accelerating car as it backed down the driveway and over my body. I was short. The rearview mirror may have reflected the top of my hat, but not much more.
Fate intervened and saved my life that day.
I am not a religious person, but if there is a God and God is Fate, does he run interference, batting the catastrophic event away with agile, outstretched arms, like Labron James rejecting his opponent’s game winning 3-point shot? Did Fate time the intersection of my body and the car with such precision to show off his deft coordination and mastery of physics laws? Conversely, does Fate miscalculate, resulting in tragic outcomes?
A few weeks ago, before my daughter pulled out of our driveway to complete the four hour return trip back to her college campus, I felt jittery and vulnerable. For comfort and a sense of control, I leaned into our safety rules:
“ Remember to buckle up and drive defensively. I trust you, but I don’t trust the other drivers,” I explained.
“I will, Mom. I’ll text you when I get there.”
Four and a half hours later, my daughter sent a text, made it back!
Obviously, Fate brought his A-game that day.