Learning that my wife was pregnant with identical twin boys while our first son was only eight-months old was not what I had planned for my life. Nearly three years of infertility struggles preceded our first pregnancy–this time it was pure chance. You would think that I would be joyful, but in all honestly, I was angry.
As if the financial implications of adding another child wasn’t enough, we were adding two. In addition to that, our small, three bedroom house would become more crowded and I would have less time to enjoy my first son and watch him grow up. The icing on the cake was my high-stress career.
All of these ingredients created the perfect combination for an emotional explosion.
The day I received the news is the day that I realized: My life will never be the same after this.
I guess this is what people mean when they say, “It was an accident.”
It is only now, with the wisdom afforded by hindsight, that I am able to see what was really going on below the surface. It is with deepest sincerity that I would like to tell you: there are no accidents.
There’s a word in the English language that means, “fortunate accident.” The popularity of this word is due in part to a chick flick staring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack which carries the word as its title–as does a boutique New York diner.
In the movie, you meet two characters whose paths fatefully cross one night at said diner in New York City. Not wanting to jump in too fast, they each place reminders of one another out into the world with the understanding that, if they’re supposed to meet again, they will. In essence, they write their contact information on a five-dollar bill and in the cover of a book, then they place them in circulation.
Years later, they are still haunted by that fateful night although they haven’t seen each since. As the plot unfolds, the are many fortunate accidents that finally reunite the two.
The movie, Serendipity, so beautifully portrays this word at work in the world.
But what if there are no fortunate accidents? What if all of life’s circumstances are leading us somewhere?
I believe that it is a learned skill to see the fortune within the accidents of life.
And our ability to learn this skill is the key to living abundant, whole lives.
Accidents Are Leading You Somewhere
The birth of our twins began a chain reaction in my heart that showed me how deeply selfish and in need of help I really was. That event revealed some ugly truths beneath the surface in my life—a place, quite frankly, I avoided at all costs.
As I began to wrestle with this very real struggle of raising three children under the age of two, it taught me quite a bit about myself:
I didn’t need as much sleep as I thought I needed.
My own strength would fail, often.
Gratitude was a decision, not a feeling.
Most importantly, accidents are only a matter of perspective.
I’m learning that all accidents are leading us somewhere. It simply takes us being present in the moment–willing to become vulnerable about who we are becoming in light of what is happening.
If it had not been for the twins, I dare say that I wouldn’t have embarked upon an adventure to discover true meaning and purpose in my life. In turn, my book, Redefine Rich, would never have been written. If I would have continued down that path, I would be a selfish, angry father wondering why the world didn’t work the way I wanted it to.
I needed that accident.
In a way, that accident saved my life.
So here you are, reading this post. And there’s a reason for that, too. Remember, there are no accidents.
What in your life hasn’t gone the way you had hoped?
I’m sure there are many, but pick one thing. Now answer this question: What is that accident teaching you about yourself?
If you get nothing else from these words today, I hope you’ll hear this: Whether it’s a job or an illness or your marital status or your financial situation, everything in your life can teach you something if you let it.
Circumstances have the tendency to plant seeds of ingratitude if we let them. In turn, that ingratitude will yield bitter, crippled fruit.
On the other hand, we can choose to hold on to gratitude and find fortune, even within the accidents.
I pray that you will join me in choosing the later.
Subscribe to this weekly blog:
About the Author
Matt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.
You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com
To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking