A few days ago I skim/read Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon (2007). It’s your basic self-help stuff. But there was one line that I’ve heard a hundred times and often doubted that got my attention.
Everything happens for a reason.
I used to think that it meant there’s a Supreme Being in the sky directing the action below. There is a plan for everyone. I never bought that.
I do get its corollary – There is a reason everything happens.
That corollary seems pretty Mr. Obvious. Of course, there is a reason everything happens. My foot will hurt if I kick a big rock. We have free will, I believe and we make choices.
But the first statement has an air of metaphysical mystery (i.e., beyond the five senses), a spiritual component that intrigues and draws me in.
What if Everything happens for a reason means that Everything happens for a personal reason? I may not know the reason why something happens, but in time I may find personal meaning, especially if I look inward. Could that be?
Let me give you an example.
A young father is working two jobs to support his wife and their dream of buying a house on the Seacoast. One job is where he commutes 100 miles round trip each day to sell real estate north of Boston while the other has him landscaping locally. One late evening coming back from Boston, he falls asleep while approaching the Hampton Tolls. He totals his Honda Civic when he crashes into the back of a panel truck. He has a few bruises and no one else is hurt.
That he fell asleep at the wheel is the reason the accident happened. That because of the accident he realized that he must quit his real estate job and focus on his landscaping is the personal reason.
By making personal meaning from what happens, does that make Everything happens for a reason? I think not. People have free will. We all make choices. I don’t believe there is a cosmic plan – predestination. We can make personal meaning from events in our life. We can come to the point where make lemonade from lemons from what happens in our lives.
I am back to my original belief There is a reason everything happens. I am not on board with Everything happens for a reason.
I do know that I Trust life and Look for the good.