Legit, it was because of popcorn.
I’m watching a movie—Confessions of a Shopaholic, I am not ashamed—in bed with a bowl of popcorn at my side when I realize something. The popcorn does not have enough seasoning. You know that powdered white cheddar stuff? Oh yes. I bring the cinema experience home.
I dart out into the kitchen, sprinkle some more on, and then head back to my room to find that—cue horror-movie music—my door is locked. I am locked out. My keys, my phone, my car keys—all in my room.
My housemates are out and might not even be home until tomorrow. Even if they do come home, I doubt they would have a solution.
I’m left with my housemate’s dog to keep me company. I could sleep on the couch except that the dog has turned it into his own litter box and I don’t have the psychological strength to sleep on what my housemate calls “thoroughly cleaned.”
I sit on the back patio, alone with my thoughts. The extrovert inside of me cringes. I can be spacey and dreamy but not introspective. I avoid introspection. I find it morbidly uncomfortable. I thrive on distractions, such as this blog (which isn’t introspective at all, of course).
You know how those moments creep up on you. You feel weirdly overcome with emotion. For me, it could be a panic attack when trying to hail a cab (read about that here). Driving to get gas on a Sunday late-afternoon. Unpacking a suitcase. The feels just well up inside me.
This doesn’t feel like chance. This feels like it was meant to happen. Like God Himself planned it.
But is chance a thing? Do we just feel like everything is planned out only because we can look back on it? Jennifer Egan says in her short story, Black Box:
“Hindsight creates the illusion that your life has led you inevitably to the present moment. It’s easier to believe in a forgone conclusion than to accept that our lives are governed by chance.”*
I try and think about my life being governed by chance.
Going to college in England was chance?
Falling in love was chance?
Applying to 99 jobs in New York City and 1 in Florida and getting the one in Florida and moving to Florida and being locked outside my room alone in Florida was chance?
Me, as a person, happened by chance?
Of course, the Bible teaches something much more premeditated. Jeremiah 1:5 says:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”
We as human beings are planned. Maybe our lives are too.
And if everything is part of God’s plan, then getting locked outside my bedroom and suddenly feeling teary-eyed is the culmination of everything that has happened in my life so far. College. Internships. A job. A car. This shut, locked door jars me awake after having a life where doors just open to me without hesitation.
Okay then. If I have to suffer from one closed door, so be it. I think about all the open doors in my life. A new chapter. My first proper job. Coworkers beckoning me to their lunch table. A reunion with my relatives. This is what blessing looks like.
From now on, I just want to be grateful. Nothing but gratitude.
My housemate comes home and finds me flossing my teeth. She assesses the situation, goes, “Okay honey, this is what we are going to do.”
She withdraws a hammer and a screwdriver and gets to work. By 2 am, I’m back in my room, snuggled up in bed.
What are the chances?
*Egan, Jennifer. “Black Box.” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 26 May 2016. Web. 11 May 2017.