That was the question haunting me over the past few days. Most of the week, I had an odd feeling about my upcoming Colorado trip. I was under the weather and definitely not feeling 100%. There were things I needed to finish before leaving . . . but hadn’t. And honestly, I was a little anxious about spending 6 days alone. So, I was thinking about cancelling. I went back and forth in my mind, arguing both sides. I told myself it was foolish to waste the money I had spent on airline tickets and the cabin reservation—so I should go. But then I worried about flying to Denver, driving to Buena Vista, and getting set up in the cabin, only to be miserable.
The day before I was scheduled to leave, I decided not to go. It was a lot of money to just throw away, but it felt like the right thing to do. Sitting at home that evening in the catcher’s mitt with my feet up, I felt relaxed, and confident I had made the right decision. I woke up early Friday morning, energized and ready to tackle a list of errands. But as the day wore on, a funny thing happened. All the ambivalence I had felt about my trip was gone, and I started thinking about the ever-present Mount Princeton and Bongo Billy’s and tackling Tin Cup Pass for the first time. But it was on the way to rendezvous with Allen before he left town that it got really weird.
I pulled up alongside a car and glanced at its license plate. Two pairs of letters jumped out at me: “BV” and “GO.” Now I know a lot of people (and some of them even reasonably intelligent) who would say that God made that happen so that I would know I was supposed to reschedule my flight and go ahead with my trip. And I have to admit, that thought flashed briefly through my mind before I rejected it as being incompatible with my theological views. Don’t get me wrong. I do believe God interacts with us somehow (I don’t pretend to understand how it works, but I’m writing a novel all about it, called God Explains It All), but manipulation of people and events at this level of specificity would make any notion of free will and moral responsibility utter nonsense. The statement, “God made A happen so that B would happen so that I would then do C,” is incompatible with what I have experienced of and believe about God.
So, how do I explain that license plate? I don’t. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and I saw 4 of them. What happened next was all a function of that amazing little fabricator of meaning residing inside my skull.
Did God give me a little internal “Holy Spirit” nudge, prompting me to look that way at just the right moment, knowing what the license plate said and guessing what I would do with it? You tell me.
The only definite comment I can make on the subject is to point out that I am in BV, sitting at Bongo Billy’s, reflecting on the unlikely chain of events that finally got me here.
Does Jesus give a rat’s ass that I’m here? I certainly hope so.