Have you ever had the experience where you find yourself saying, “My what a coincidence we meet as I was just thinking of you yesterday.” Or you take a new direction in your life and after the fact you remember you chose the direction based on a detail that occurred outside of your control. We think of those events as coincidence or happenstance. What a coincidence. Recently I heard on the Mike Huckabee show an interview with a man named Squire Rushnell. My mind perked up when he started talking about his new book Divine Alignments and God winks -- a new way to look at coincidences in our lives.
After hearing him I saw in a bookstore a book he mentioned and other books he had written. The one that caught my attention was When God Winks. I picked it up and it is a short book so it did not take long to read. The information reminded me of Dr. John Krumboltz’s book Luck Is No Accident, which considers our choices in response to happenstances that come into our life experiences. We all have coincidences that pop into our life and the key is how we respond.
At the beginning of his book he lists definitions of key terms. Coincidence “is a sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged”, from the American Heritage Dictionary. A Wink “is to give a signal or express a message”. He took that definition from the American Heritage Dictionary. So he created the term God Wink stating that it is a “personal signal or message, directly from a higher power, usually, but not always, in the form of a coincidence” . In the book the author poses a sensible question in that if the term coincidence has a sense of the event being planned or arranged then who does the planning. He states that most people respond that God does the arranging. It is not a proof that there is a God but it makes sense that considering the probabilities of some of the things that happen to us there is some sort of a God guiding our life events.
The book looks at a variety of examples of God Winks in various life situations. Squire Rushnell also shows how we can react to the God Winks. We should not just float along the river of life letting life happenstance events affect us. Life is not to be lived passively as that turns us into victims of fate. Instead with the coincidences or as Mr. Rushnell calls them God Winks, we make a choice to respond actively to these life events. After the choice is made we receive the consequence of our response. That consequence can be either good or bad based on whether we critically thought through our response or just impulsively responded.
The author gives us a series of questions to explore and discover the God Winks that are in our lives. Here are just a few of the questions listed to help you start exploring your God Winks:
1. Did something surprising happen to you in your past?
2. Did some new person come into your life?
3. Did you experience a death of someone close to you? Did this open up a new path for you?
4. What is the biggest break you have ever received in your career journey?
5. Did you have a rebirth in a spiritual manner or in another manner such as giving up drugs or alcohol?
His reminder to think through questions reminded me of Dr. Tal Ben Shahar’s lectures on Positive Psychology where Dr. Shahar mentioned our questions we ask ourselves can help us create new realities for our daily lives. Those questions can help in exploring the various God Winks that have affected us and then we can look deeper into them and think through the choices we made in response. In exploring God Winks in my life the most of them that I have clearly noticed have often been in church worship times where the minister is preaching and I have this feeling like, “ how did he know that about me? That is just what I needed to hear.” I am not paranoid at those times but thinking about it those points in the Pastor's message may be a God Wink reminding me what I need to work on from the message. Another God wink that comes to mind is from my career positions that have focused on helping students in their career portion of their lives relates to a Professor at UTB in Brownsville I had as a student. I had professor for Career Counseling that encouraged us to be involved with Professional Associations. So I became involved with the National Career Development Association as a student and the state association in Texas. I would not have joined that association if I had not had that Professor. I believe this also helped me see the importance of career in people’s lives. What it just chance I had a Professor that encouraged such activities? I do not think so.
When God Winks is a book that acts as a helpful reflective exercise to help us be more aware of what is going on in our lives. The more we see God work in our lives the more our lives can make sense out of happenstance items that drop into our life journey. This awareness can help us in understanding our purpose in a deeper fashion as well. You may want to look further into the author’s ideas by looking at his facts page of his website -- http://www.whengodwinks.com/faqs/
Reflection: Try to remember and write down three God Winks in your life. Ponder over them and write down how these affected your life at the time and events further along your life journey.