I’ve realized that most of the exciting things in my life are things that almost happen rather than things that actually do happen. Exciting external things, anyway. I almost fell flat in the mud in our vegetable garden this summer. My favorite professor almost ran me over with her bicycle this morning which caused me to almost spill tea all over my khaki capris, which would have almost ruined them. More than once I’ve almost collided with speeding cars changing lanes on the highway. And these are only the almosts that I know about.
My life grows much more exciting when I think of all the things that may have almost happened to me without my being aware of them. Perhaps I have almost been captured by a shining dragon to be kept atop a hoard of treasure in a secret cave until I was almost rescued by a handsome knight. (Who, by the by, may almost be ugly, but you can’t tell it because of the shining armor.) Perhaps I have almost stumbled into the Wood Between the Worlds. Almost inherited a fabulous fortune from some childless miser. Almost been engulfed by a man-eating tree. (One of the stately live oaks that populate my college campus, of course. Who could have a guessed the malignant powers lurking among those dignified limbs?)
But in all seriousness, it is astonishing to consider the number of things that haven’t happened to me. It sends me off on the related speculation of why the few, specific events of my life have occurred rather than the multitude of other specific things. Why these details, rather than those? And why in this specific order? The mere absense of collisions, in a world which is moving toward disorder, suggests that something more than natural causes governs my life. Which brings to mind another almost. And another query of “Why?”
I, who might have been blind, have been allowed to see. I, who might have spent my life roaming for answers, have been given the Truth. I do not think this is a mere accident of particles in motion; I believe it to be part of a specific design. And that design is good.