Have you ever had the amazing experience of everything falling into place, unexpectedly, just the way it was supposed to? When it happens, we are filled with gratefulness. Because we never know when we’ll receive these gifts of grace and that’s why they are such a wonder.
Often when good things happen – we land that new job, an unexpected check comes in the mail, we hear from an old friend we were just thinking about — we attribute it to luck or chance. But I believe these are not random accidents. There is a rhyme and reason to the way the universe unfolds, and when we get out of the way long enough to experience this process, opportunities await.
It was a surreal moment, hard to describe, but something like walking into a play with the scenes already written, and all I needed to do was step into my role.
My father and I used to talk a lot about writing. We’d sit and hash out story ideas, and talk about how we were going to write the Great American Novel, perhaps together. A few years ago,as we tossed around some thoughts he said, “You should try to arrange an interview with George Kennedy, and talk to him about what his life is like now.”
He was referring, of course, to the Academy Award winning actor George Kennedy, one of the most well known American actors. He and his wife moved to the Boise area about a decade ago, and my father’s thought was, “What’s an Oscar winning actor doing living in Boise, Idaho? What are his memories?”
I told dad, great idea, but I had no way of knowing how to reach Mr. Kennedy. I mean, I can’t just look him up in the phone book and say, “Hi, this is Patti Murphy. Would you do an interview with me?”
But dad persisted and would often remind me by asking, “What are you doing with the Kennedy idea?” I’d give him the same old excuse, “I don’t know how to reach him,” and then I’d move on.
The universe works if you get out of the way.
Last year, a few days before my father died, I sat next to him in his hospital room and we talked about my writing and my future. He told me how proud he was of me, and then gently took me to task for not following up with George Kennedy. “I’m telling you,” he said, “it could be a wonderful experience and a great story.”
And still, I did nothing.
Six months passed, and I went to a local writer’s conference. When I walked into the evening reception there sat the guest of honor, George Kennedy, who was signing his new book “Trust Me.” It was a surreal moment, hard to describe, but something like walking into a play with the scenes already written, and all I needed to do was step into my role.
For just a moment I thought could hear my dad saying from the Great Beyond, “Well, what’s stopping you? What’s your excuse now?”
And so we did.
I could chalk this whole turn of events up to coincidence and chance. But, instead, I find myself awed at how opportunity — the universe — all came together, as though it was just waiting patiently for me to stop resisting.
When we move through the world knowing we’ll be provided for, we allow magic to happen.
Of course, it was also a beautiful chance to fulfill one of my father’s last aspirations for his daughter.
Probably many opportunities like this have slipped from my grasp because I didn’t pay attention or follow through. Or, just as important, I didn’t believe in myself.
There’s a saying, “The universe works if you get out of the way.” This doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing, but rather, we need to pay attention to the urgings of the universe and trust it will work. When we move through the world knowing we’ll be provided for, we allow magic to happen.