Did you ever hear the saying, “Everything happens for a reason”? When I hear this statement, depending on the “thing that happened”, I find myself either nodding in agreement or shaking my head in irritation. How can I have such opposite reactions to one statement?
Do I really believe that things happen for a reason? When something really good happens – meeting a new friend, getting a new job, receiving an unexpected financial blessing – it is easy to say that it has happened for a reason. On the other hand, when I think of some of the painful and difficult things that happen in life – death, divorce, illness, natural disaster, crime – it seems downright callous to say these things “happen for a reason”. What reason could possibly justify the pain these kinds of events cause?
As I consider this more deeply, I find the idea that things happen for a reason is a little too simplistic. Rather, I believe that things happen, and we humans have the ability to choose whether those things will have meaning for us, and what that meaning will be. We ourselves create the meaning based on our general worldview, our life experiences, and our level of emotional and spiritual maturity.
And, it’s never too late to change the meaning we have assigned to an event in our lives. As we grow and mature, we can see new possibilities in past events that overwhelmed us at the time. So, if things happen for a reason, it is because we have decided they do.