Do you believe that things sometimes happen for a reason?
I’m talking about the sequence of events that, though unconnected, seem to be connected.
Some people may call these sequences coincidence, synchronicity, a twist of fate, or Godwinks.
I do believe things often happen for a reason. Often, experiences seem to relate in unexpected ways. Yet sometimes I’m not mindful enough to notice them.
Just such a thing happened to me a few weeks ago. And I noticed.
There’s a little coffee shop near my home called More Than Coffee. It’s a free-standing building with a drive-up window and a walk-up window. Their menu board is topped by the motto, “Helping challenged people one cup at a time.”
This coffee shop has been in business for almost twelve years. It has trained nearly ninety individuals with special needs and helped them find employment. Many of those individuals have autism.
More Than Coffee is a special place.
When I pull up to the drive through window to order my decaf mocha, I sometimes find that it is already brewing. The people at the window recognize my van.
Whether my mocha has been started or not, I usually turn off my car while I wait at the window. I am always ready for the smiles and good will that meet me. Yes, sometimes the coffee takes a little longer to make than it might elsewhere, but it is definitely worth it.
Often, a young person approaches the window with a tray of muffins or cookies, as he or she learns to talk to customers.
Early one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I pulled under the awning, and turned off my car. Once my coffee was ready, I tried unsuccessfully and repeatedly to restart my car. During the December St. Louis weather ranging from twenty to seventy, I had not had any indication that my battery was about to fail me. I sat at the window wondering why I had no warning that I needed a new battery.
I took inventory of the situation, trying to figure out how to get my van charged and out of the way of the car waiting behind me. I decided my best option was to walk to a nearby auto repair shop.
I squeezed out of the car in the narrow space between my vehicle and the shop and started to walk back to the other car to explain the situation and apologize. I was surprised when the driver rolled down the window and the family within called out a hello. We knew each other.
Thankfully, while the husband went up to the walk-up window, his wife drove me to the nearby auto shop so I could beg for a jump. How fortunate that they were there to give me a lift on this cold day.
It was early and only two employees were at work at the shop, one cheerful and helpful young man behind the counter and one mechanic. They were just opening and it wasn’t long until people came in behind me.
The man behind the counter told me he needed to wait for someone else to come in before he could leave his post, but that they would jump my van. He wanted to save me the cost of a tow truck when I was only the equivalent of a block away.
As I told him where my car was parked, I discovered that he was not even aware of this coffee shop within walking distance. How odd, I thought. I explained their work. He was interested in their mission.
He told me that he had previously worked at a restaurant which hired individuals with autism and shared some experiences. Hmm, I thought.
I anticipate that he will visit More Than Coffee in the future.
As a few other employees came in, a mechanic came out with a battery box jump starter and we walked together to the coffee shop. He was also unaware of the coffee shop mission. As I explained it, he perked up.
He waited a beat before he told me that his three-year-old son was diagnosed with autism a month earlier. I told him about my book. He shared stories about his son lining up toys and melting down when his brother took some out of the line.
The young man jumped my car and we drove back to the auto shop.
On an early, foggy Saturday morning my battery unexpectedly dies at a coffee shop window. I know the people in line behind me. Two people at the auto shop learn about More Than Coffee and both tell me a story about autism. One of those men is just beginning to learn about how his son’s autism will affect their family.
Luck, coincidence, synchronicity, a Godwink?
Whatever you call it, I noticed.
Before I turned over my van keys, I opened the tailgate and took a copy of my book “Conversations About Autism” out of the back. I signed it, and gave it to the young mechanic.
What else could I do?
8 thoughts on “Synchronicity or Godwinks?”
Reblogged this on Retirement – My New Reality.
So much cool stuff here. I’ll be honest, I would probably never even learn about their mission because I’d find their christian logo off-putting. Maybe I’d better start evaluating my biases. For personal reasons, I’m intrigued by a business that specifically hires individuals with disabilities. I think that’s really cool and now I wonder if anyone in my community does that. I doubt it. Also, I’m struck by your a) having a book in the back of the car; b) your boldness to sign and offer a copy. I recently had an opportunity to give out a couple of signed copies and I chickened out. Why would anyone want a copy of my book signed by me. I was just too embarrassed to go there. You could be an inspiration to me.
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Well actually, now that you reminded me, I better refill my car because 15 minutes before pulling into the coffee shop I sold a copy from my trunk to someone attending my Weight Watcher’s meeting. I had met her only once before at a meeting. (Don’t judge – I leave WW and go order a mocha.) I keep about 3 copies in my van and one in my husband’s SUV. Here’s another story along the same line, I met a woman named Ann at an author’s event. After we chatted, she pulled out the book she had written and gave it to me. It’s called “Coffee is Cheaper Than Therapy.” I’m not sure if she thought I looked like I needed therapy. The book has just random little cute tidbits that she and a friend shared over coffee. When I read the intro and discovered that she met with her friend at the same local place that I meet with friends each month for lunch and “game day” I ordered 5 copies of the book for Christmas presents for my friends. It was meant to be. Jeff, get out there and give out a few signed copies. You never know. 🙂
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There are NO coincidences! The entire string of events happened just as it was supposed to.
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Your comment reminds me of a beautiful song lyric from Camper Van Beethoven:
‘cause we zig and zag between good and bad
stumble and fall on right and wrong
‘cause the tumbling dice and the luck of the draw just leads us on
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Wow, that is really great. Definitely meant to be. And I wonder if there are any places like that near me because that coffee shop is amazing.
Yes, I do believe that there is a reason behind everything that happens and in some way those events or people have some effect in our lives. We too may help others without our knowing that we have helped someone. Godwinks is a beautiful word. Thank you for sharing.
What a wonderful place. We had a similar place near where my last job was. We tried to have as many meetings there as possible. Just the friendliest place ever.