So many things happen over a lifetime that change our lives in dramatic and long-lasting ways. This cousin and I share an unusual number of grandparents because her mother was my grandmother's sister and her father was my grandfather's brother. The genealogical term is "double cousin" and in our case it means our family history with its challenges and blessings are doubly connected. I've always loved it.
But in fact, when I saw a picture of the small town where the grandparents on the other side married I was shocked to see both sides of the family intermingling at a town picnic; where there are only a few hundred people in a town it is pretty hard not to all be interconnect in several ways. That would be why the cemetery in that small town seems to be about 50% connect to us in some fashion or other.
So is it all a cosmic joke? Or is there intentionality in all the opportunities -- for good or bad -- that come into our lives over a few decades? Is this all wholly random or is there a larger plan in play?
Although it is not currently a commonly approved view, I actually think that there are just too many amazing and joyous and wonderful things that happen for it to be random. I do believe we have free will and can accept the challenge in any situation, persistently seeking the lesson, the better path, a contribution to a personal higher purpose inspired by a loving and attentive God who heals in ways that transcend any theory based on randomness.
Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I chose you for a special work. I chose you to be a prophet to the nations.”