Now, I don’t think we live in a simulation (except I have strong evidence that we do – ask me know I know) but I do believe in providence, that idea that God is trying to arrange things in the world in a way that works out for us. And I think we can see providence (or the simulation, or synchronicity, or simple pareidolia) most clearly when we are where we need to be, for then things somehow all just work out.
Like, how, day before yesterday I decided to drop by a nearby coffeehouse after brunch, and stayed there until I finished beta reading a book; that put me at the right place to give some spare cash to an apparently homeless man, who looked like he needed it and promised he’d go buy food. Then I decided to grab a soda on the way out of town, which put me in just the right place to see the same homeless man try to buy alcohol. I need that reminder – that most of the time helping the beggar isn’t actually helping – but still, Jesus says to give to all those who beg from you, and another errand placed me right where I needed to be to help another person. I hope they did something good for themselves with it, whatever it was.
Later that night I worked through another problem, planning to eat a light midnight snack instead of dinner, until, frustrated, I threw up my hands and went to grab dinner at BJ’s brewery. That cleared my head, gave me the opportunity to run a few more errands, and I even got some writing done.
Seeking the good can help you find more of it. So I try to pay attention to what I was doing when things just seem to work out, so I can hopefully make more of the same choices in the future. Which, coincidentally, is what I was reading about over brunch today: a book on the Thomistic philosophy of free will, which has nothing to do with woo-hoo non-causal “free choices” and everything to do about building up the right resources within ourselves to make the right decision when the time comes.
So pay attention to providence: it may be trying to tell you something about how aligned you are with what you should have been doing in the first place.
Pictured: fish and shrimp tacos at BJ’s, and another chapter read of a deep RL book.