I had an interesting day yesterday (Tuesday). In the morning as I was getting ready to leave for work I picked up the change on the countertop and began to put it into my pocket. A strange looking penny caught my eye. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be an Indian head penny dated to 1887! I don’t know where I picked it up but it must have happened during my normal weekday errands.
As I was getting home last night around 9:30PM I happened to be looking up at the sky when I saw a bright flash. So bright, in fact, that at first I thought someone had shot off some fireworks – but the vapor trail was streaking across the sky and not coming up from the ground. (Did anyone else happen to see this? )
Both events fired up my sense of wonder. I look at this penny and think about how many hands it must have passed through from its’ minting barely a generation after the Civil War to the time it found its’ way into my pocket. How many lives am I now connected to in this small but tangible way? In whose pocket or change purse did this penny lay during the great historical events of the 20th Century?
And then there’s the shooting star, which excited my sense of wonder for the opposite reason. The flash lasted less than a second; it was by pure coincidence that I happened to be looking up at that moment to witness an event I’ve only seen about two or three times in my life. I can look at the penny any time I want to do so but the shooting star was evanescent. It can only be stored in my memory.
Yet there is a common element here. It was most unlikely that I would encounter either one during the course of a normal day. Which leads me to wonder about something else: How many amazing , once in a life time moments – especially in my interactions wtih other people – form a regular part of my ordinary existence? More importantly – How many of these moments do I really notice?
This seems to me to be a good thought for Advent.
How about you? Any wonderous coincidences lately?
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)