Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are you feeling lucky today?

I saw on the news last night that a man walking along a beach on Hilton Head Island was struck and killed by a plane that made an emergency landing on the beach.  He left behind a wife and two children. My first thought was how sad and my next thought was what crappy luck.  Here you are, walking along a beach on vacation, and the next thing, your life is ended by a plane that hits you.

I also thought about my principal from elementary school who lived on a farm.  He would walk down his long lane each day to get the newspaper. One morning he took that walk to his mailbox and was hit by a car that ran off the road.  In both these circumstances I wonder was this luck, destiny or coincidence.  If either of these people had been delayed by a minute, their lives would have been spared.  What if the man on the beach had stopped to gaze at the ocean or look at a shell?  What if my principal had stopped to look over his farm fields or gaze at a wild flower as he walked his lane that fateful day?

I have heard people say that they believe in destiny and that luck has nothing to do with it.  My father would often say, "when your number is up, then it's your time to go."  I wondered about that.  I tried to imagine God sitting with the Big Book Keeper in the sky, going over names and saying, "Well, it's time for Syd to go. His number is up."  It just didn't make much sense to me then and it still doesn't. 

Maybe luck as destiny is the reason that some people don't seem to care about how recklessly they live life. They are the roulette players in life.  Nothing matters because it is all about fate. 

I am not one who believes in destiny.  I think that I have a brain, a heart and a conscience for a reason.  I think that I have choices that can influence my lot in life.  I realize that God does have a plan.  But I don't think that plan is arbitrary and capricious.  God has me here for a reason.  If I totally believed in luck and destiny, then nothing I did would change a thing. 

I think that living life on luck would lessen my purpose here.  If it all comes down to fate, luck and destiny, then why would I even want to live a life of purpose? On the other hand, I realize that much of the control that I have is really about my choices.  I can shape what is to come by the choices that I make. I also have faith that all will be okay this day as I turn my will and my life over to my Higher Power.  The faith that I have enables me to get through many things in a day that used to cause me to stumble, feel frustrated, and thwarted by fate. 

So yes, I do feel a bit lucky today to be enjoying life and not waiting for the plane to fall from the sky.  I'm going to stop and gaze at the ocean, pick up a shell, take a walk down a long lane, and row with the team tonight without any thought of destiny and fate. I am a lucky fellow! 


  1. Thanks for the thoughts and the shamrock! I believe that there is a delicate balance between God's plan for us and our own self will. I think that He has a plan, but that we also have to do our part in life. "Without God, man cannot, but without man, God will not." Have a good one!

  2. All of this makes sense to me. You sound like someone who has both feet on the ground. Thank you for writing such an inspiring post.

  3. Living life to the fullest one day at a time is doing all we can do. I read that story about the plane and it said it was so quiet the man wouldn't have even heard it coming. I would like to go that quickly and that quietly when it is my turn to discard this old baggage of a body.

  4. Hmm.. sometimes things happen for another reason. Maybe that man was killed because God had some plan for his wife that required this. I don't know. We aren't meant to know all.

    In 2002 I broke up with a man, and talked openly about wanting to date someone I hadn't seen in 10 years. I prayed for it, I told friends, and then one day he was there on a bus totally randomly. Luck? Coincidence? Or Destiny? I like to believe that my prayers were answered. You can believe whatever you wish.

  5. Syd, I really enjoyed your post on luck today. Very inspiring!

  6. Happy St. Pats, Syd. Nice post. I wish I had your faith. I think that everything is just random. Maybe it's because I just drive myself nuts trying to make sense of all the "whys" of things.



  7. I am so spiritually nebulous when it comes to all of this, but I do believe we were given free will and we can chose what we do, if we have a HP or not, etc...

    I think sometimes things are just plain accidental. When my first husband died in a car accident, I did a lot of thinking about this, fate, destiny or craptastical luck...

    His grandmom, Marjorie came to me and was a very devoutly religious woman and said..."soem things are just accidents, that's it." Nothing more nothing less just an accident.

    That's probably where I would more closely stand...

    Thanks for the thought provoking post.


  8. i don't think that because we all have a certain time on this earth that is relieves us of the responsibility to make choices and live right, on the contrary i do believe we all have a day when our time is up.
    my friend, her son was in an accident last year a 10 ton piece of equipment fell onto him. the impact was so hard his eye ball popped right out of it's socket. every rib was broken in two spots the front and back, one of his lungs were crushed. it took several minutes to get this piece of equipment off of him, he wasn't supposed to make it.
    there is a bone that surrounds the heart, i think it is called the clavicle bone, it was spared. his spine was in tact. i don't know how to explain it but an angel put her arms around his heart and spared his life. it was not his time to go, some of us are only here for a few moments a few years a while, it is not our job to know when or why, it is just our job to follow our purpose and to find our purpose.

  9. Those tragic accidents always seem worse because of the shock of it I think. We really should live every day to the full.

  10. Luck? Destiny? Coincidence? Who knows!!!

    All I know is that I believe in the total mystery of life and I have finally learned how to 'go with the flow' more often than not.

    Have a great day.


  11. "I think that I have a brain, a heart and a conscience for a reason" I have to agree with this statement. I also had the same thought's as you when I heard of the man getting hit by the plane. what are the chances of that happening?

  12. Seconds and inches.

    Blessings and aloha...

  13. And I am going to live my life today as if it were the last day...I don;t always do that. Thanks, Syd!

  14. This blogging community is lucky to have a blogger like you Syd :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Guess this is part of the mystery of life.
    I was reading Bunuel who mentioned a similar story about a man who was bending down to pick up a cigar and a car took his life. We just dont know when our time is up.
    Thank god we dont know I would live in alot of fear. mmm even more that I do already if that is possible.
    One second at a time

  16. I like to think our soul is in charge of what happens to us, not so much God directly. We all have a purpose. I have to wonder if the man was picking up a shell and your principal was checking out his fields! Or maybe they are examples for us to be more aware and live in the now. Makes me wonder if a plane falls from the sky, can you hear it? Thank you for your thought provoking blogs Syd!

  17. I do believe in destiny, but the destiny is that I was meant to be the child of a living God who wants all his kids to know and feel his love on earth as in heaven. The result is I have a purpose, to love and know love with other God kids. The rest is fascination with things and how they work and trying to master the controls which can get really sticky.

    I have faith that whatever comes next in that destiny is better than today, that each day living toward that idea becomes better and better. :) That's all I

    Or as the old Zen master said upon the village reflection that his son becoming crippled from a horse riding accident was terrible, "we'll see." Life moved on.

    Sometimes I get caught up in the judgement of good and bad, but truly it's only my feelings and ideas that reign those judgements -others may not feel the same.

    I just don't have enough information to make informed decisions about life and death.

    I have certain faith that God does. And I want to make whatever impact my life has on this world, for however long it exists, as loving as it can be.

  18. Syd, I lost a dear friend, Maia Haykin, to an accident. She had decided long before I admitted to myself, that she would not like to live to be an old person.
    She was on her commute home from work, sun was in her eyes of Bellingham Bay and she was probably on automatic pilot. NOT using a cell phone, but singing as she passed others on the pedestrian bike path. The path crosses an Amtrak Train line, at grade. The train is quiet, and it did not sound its horn. She and the train collided and that was the end of our friendship on Earth. I do have a kind of belief that this was the junction of her life and she was ready to go. If I don't believe that then I am denying reality. I was mad at my friend for her lapse in attention, but I have absolutely no doubt that she was in her moment, enjoying her life. I was sad for a long time, but now I think of her, whenever I hear a train's whistle. Today I think she chose her way to go, in the most subconscious and unexpected way...

  19. Until I can see the big picture someday, I don't know that I have an answer about luck, destiny, etc. I do believe that everything happens for a reason..I don't believe is a random, meaningless, disconnected world. Whew..good brain is working on this one!



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