Do you ever wonder? I do.
I wonder how it just so happened that my parents and my good wife Debra’s parents, not to mention all of my ancestors and all of her ancestors, got together and married and then got together and produced children that ended up, way down the line, being us. The odds of everything and everyone working together in ways that would lead to us are astronomical—yet here we are.
I wonder how it just so happened that she and I, who had never heard of each other’s hometowns, both decided to attend Mercer University and both made that decision only after considerable influence was exerted on us by people who cared so deeply about our futures that they thought that they knew better than we did about the direction we should take—and they were right.
I wonder how it just so happened that late one fall afternoon in 1976 we ended up standing in line together to get our pictures taken for the college annual and I noticed that she was cute; while I don’t know what she noticed about me I suspect it was that I was awkward, which I proved in the way that I asked her out, in the first date that I planned, in the way that I dressed for it, and no doubt in the things I said.
I wonder how it just so happened that, five years after we married, we combined our respective gene pools to produce a son who was born on February 21, 1984 and whom we named Joshua. He was our first-born.
I wonder how it just so happened that, a couple of years before that, the partners in a couple in Madison, Wisconsin were combining their gene pools to produce their third child and first and only daughter, whom they named Michelle.
I wonder how it just so happened that, following various educational, extra-curricular, and vocational pursuits, Joshua and Michelle both decided to be writers.
I wonder how it just so happened that, although he was offered a similar fellowship at other places, Joshua chose to attend Georgia College & State University to pursue his Master of Fine Arts. I wonder furthermore how it just so happened that, after growing up in Wisconsin, attending college in Minnesota, and serving two years with the Peace Corps in Honduras, Michelle decided to pursue her MFA in Milledgeville, Georgia, too.
I wonder how it just so happened that Michelle and Joshua decided that their shared love for life, literature, family, good food, good beer, exercise, and cats—and each other—could form the foundation for a life together.
I wonder how it just so happens that they will stand before God, family, and friends this Sunday afternoon in the Senate Parlor Room of the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison and become husband and wife.
I think a lot about that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest says, "I don't know if Mama’s right or it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze. But I, I think maybe it's both; maybe both is happening at the same time."
So if somebody asks me is it that God has plan for each of us or that we form our own destiny by the choices we make, I will answer “Yes.”
I’m not even sure I’d like to know how it all “just so happens.”
The beauty of life, I believe, is found in the wonder of it all…