Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatriatrist and one of the founding fathers of modern psychology, coined the term "synchronicity" to refer to the principle that seems to link unrelated events together in a web of coincidence. Jung's theory--and other's interpretation of it--can get quite complex, as Jung was quite influenced by the "new" physics of the 20th century which deals with such issues as "non-locality" and the interconnectedness of matter and consciousness. Many seek to understand this phenomenon through scientific means, and physics may, indeed, hold the answers.

By contrast, the theologic perspective on coincidental events is that they are simply evidence of God's power and influence. No further explanation is looked for, and no scientific proof is needed to understand these events, even when they seem to stunningly defy the calculations of probability.

One of the most well-known episodes of "coincidence" occurred in Nebraska in 1950. 15 members of a church choir were all unexpectedly late for choir practice--something that just didn't happen, as this was a punctual bunch. All were running late due to very ordinary and unrelated things (cars not starting, trying to finish homework, ironing a dress, etc.), and not one of the 15 members arrived at the church at 7:20 pm, when the weekly practice was supposed to begin.

Their late arrival turned out to be quite fortuitous--in fact, it probably saved their lives. At 7:25 that night--when all 15 members would normally have been inside of the church--the building was destroyed in an explosion. Life magazine reported this story, and the members of the choir all heralded their survival as an "act of God."

I don't understand the "whys" and "hows" of synchronicity any better than I understand the "whys" and "hows" of the workings of electricity or the internet. Over the years, however, I have come to view episodes of coincidence as personal cosmic "mile markers"--indicators that I am on the right "path," even when I can't proverbially see my hand in front of my face, or see around the next bend in the road.

Some episodes of ..."coincidence"... are so mild, and at least so outwardly inconsequential, that they nearly go unnoticed. Others, however, have had a life-changing impact....

Regardless of the "whys" and "hows"--and being open to both scientific findings and to the power that we call "God"--I acknowledge that there is an underlying and unifying force that works within our lives, sometimes manifesting itself in the most extraordinary ways.

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