July 27, 2012

When you collide with God…Say Something!

(photo by Zeus-the-Ferret, Flickr Creative Commons)

This is the 11th of 108 tips to Livin’ the Moment. Let’s take back our lives one beautiful, funny and delicious moment at a time.

#11 of 108: When You Collide with God…Say Something!

2,290,000 to one: The chances of being killed by a lightning strike.

655,750 to one: The chances of getting a royal flush in poker with first five cards dealt.

300,000,000 to one: The chances of being killed by a shark.

What are the chances that you will physically and literally collide on the street with a total stranger like Michael Wilson from Queens, or Yang Chi from Brooklyn, or Vee Lee from Phoenix?

Almost once a day while walking in NYC, I look up to see that I’m on a collision course with someone.

Usually we are able to avoid the collision and walk our separate ways.

But yesterday, getting off the L Train at 14th St, my attempt to avoid collision failed miserably.

I turned left, she turned right and bam! We walked right into each other at high speed.

Thankfully, she laughed, I smiled, and we walked on.

Whoever she was, wherever she came from, what are the odds that the two of us would physically collide at some moment in our lives?

Author Libba Bray wrote, “I’ve heard it said that God is in the details. Leave out the details, the crucial heart, and you can damn someone with the bare bones of it.”

I believe these type of random collisions, oddball moments, strange coincidences…are the details, the fine stitching that connects us to the Universe.

It’s a certain style of the soul to honor these details

as one with fashion sense would honor the right shoes to match their purse,

or one with culinary sense would honor the right sauce to match their creation.

In that brief, one second encounter upon colliding in the subway station, what did I have to say to that complete stranger?


I just returned from an epic week in Alaska.

My friend Josh took me on a camping trip to a place called Lost Lake (See pic of my Warrior two at Lost Lake).

If you’ve not yet been to Alaska, go!

There’s an untouched wilderness that doesn’t just dazzle you, it converses with you. Truly.

As we hiked down the mountain from this camping trip that packed years of revelation and clarity into two glorious days, we called a taxi to drive us back to our car.

Josh said to me, “This taxi driver is gonna have a message for us.”

It was that kind of synchronous trip where you were just waiting for the next awesome moment.

And it wasn’t long before the taxi driver told us a story about how his father just died and he spent six months with him in hospice.

“But it was wonderful,” he continued. “We got to spend so much time, and we got so close.”

The taxi driver told us how that time with his dad reemphasized the fragility of the human experience.

This is a journey we take for granted, that the Buddhists consider being born into a human body to be an incredibly fortunate blessing.

We best enjoy this life and make the most of it while we are here.

To impart the enduring message of his father, this taxi driver always says in passing to a friend or stranger, as I will now say in one of these aforementioned brief but powerful collisions with the Universe:

“Enjoy Your Journey!”

Try saying it next time you bump into someone.

The strange person with whom you just collided might think you are an absolute nutjob.

But there is a chance, maybe just 655,000 to one, but it’s a chance that you will awaken them to the beauty, awesomeness and great fortune of being alive!


Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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