October 9, 2022
Welcome back to my Precepts series—inspired by meaningful thoughts, insights, and discoveries I have during each week, and intentionally designed to help make your life just a little bit better. Enjoy!
You can find the Precepts series in its entirety here.
Precept 61: Synchronicity
Synchronicity is a term that’s often bandied about these days as a laudable phenomenon often meant to denote a divine action or the intervention of God, or gods, or some other favorable consequences that must have dictated the unique circumstances we may find ourselves in, and that it's all planned out beforehand, despite there often being no evidently causal relationship for those circumstances. It can all seem pretty magical that some person you thought of or something that you experienced or some chance random encounter wasn’t really random at all and may instead have been hyper meaningful. This infatuation with synchronicity is even becoming the pattern with which many people live their very lives and operate within their careers, waiting for the next steps to be divinely shown to them and then poof fall into their lap, like a baby dropped from a giant universal stork.
Now look: I’m a man of faith. I totally believe in your steps being laid out for you by a Higher Power, before you even take those steps. I totally believe that there is no such thing as a chance accident, and I believe that everything has some kind of importance or meaning. So I totally believe in this so-called synchronicity.
But there’s a problem. Synchronicity makes people lazy. What do I mean by that? Well, people who tend to slip into the synchronicity trap can begin to view their life as something that they probably have no control over, so what the heck? Why plan anyways? This isn't done in a defeatist, depressing manner, mind you, at least most of the time, but rather in a manner in which people simply seem to say, “Well, the universe will bring what the universe will bring. I’m just gonna sit back and be in reactive mode all day long.” And I’ll tell you what: that’s not synchronicity. That’s just lazy-icity.
Instead, here’s how to live with a spirit of synchronicity. First, pay close attention to everything around you. Live your life with pure intentionality, with presence, and with purpose. Be mindful. This way you won't “miss” those synchronous moments. Next, logically and systematically plan and prepare. Don't just count on luck and good fortune. If you don’t know how to plan and prepare well, then surround yourself with people and hire others who do know how to do that. With a team or with yourself, make a game plan. Make a strategy. Construct a five-year plan. Then a ten-year plan. Design your vision. Forecast your finances. Build the boats. Print the blueprints. Plan things out.
If you plug synchronicity into the type of close observation and structure that I just described, then you’ve got a match made in heaven because you have the ability to be able to recognize good opportunities that God sends your way and the ability and platform to be able to act upon them. That’s actually the turkey and cranberries of the success kingdom, my friend. The problem is that most people either A) make a plan and stick to it and completely ignore the spiritual synchronicity side, because who wants to pay attention to that woo-woo crapola, or B) folks only pay attention to synchronicity and then just sit back and wait for the universe to bring their life to them, whatever that may look like, on a silver platter. But neither approach works. What results from A is a flat, business-like, logical, rational, in-the-head approach to life, and what results from B is a woo-woo person who gets wiped off the face of this planet because they didn’t have a plan of attack for when shit goes south.
So you want to be both. You wanna have a plan, and you also wanna be able to listen to your intuition and pay attention to what God is telling you. You wanna be able to bank blood, sweat, and tears, chop wood and carry water, and then you wanna be able to sit back, close your eyes, listen to your dreams and pay attention to where your heart is pulling you. That will make for an impactful life. That’s real synchronicity.
Precept 62: Opportunity
There's nothing new under the sun, including our hyperconnected world of influencers, networks, connections, opportunities, ideas, inspiration, and technologies. People have always had to deal with information overload in some respect or another, but it's just that our current information stream is highly digitized compared to previous generations.
You could certainly be overwhelmed by all these so-called “opportunities,” but you don't have to be any other person than you. So let me ask you: who has God called you to be? In other words, if you know yourself, if you truly know yourself, you're far less likely to get whiplashed by the world and pulled in a million billion different directions by all the “opportunities” and shiny pennies coming your way because you already know your course, you know your purpose, and you are able to filter out what serves that purpose and what does not.
Back to synchronicity (see Precept 63), this does not mean that you're not paying attention to all of the coincidental occurrences along the way that seem to be zigzagging their way into your life. Pay attention to everything! But if you know your purpose, if you know your why, if you know your skills, and if you know your calling, then you have what I would call an effective “filter.” Congratulations. You can say, “Is this for me, is this not for me, is that for me, is that not for me?” This all starts with knowing your purpose and your unique skillset. Otherwise, without such a filter, it becomes impossible to tune out all the noise.
Related to choosing from a multitude of opportunities, many people will tell you: “Oh well you should just ask yourself, ‘What makes me happy?', then just do what makes you happy.” Well, I'm gonna one-up you on that suggestion. How about this instead: do what makes God happy. Sometimes you may not know what that is, but God certainly does, and if you're walking in daily union with God, then you'll be attuned to His voice and able to know whether your choices are not of the highest priority or are falling flat morally, or whether they truly reflect God's calling for your life.
So, what I'm ultimately saying is this: when you sit down at your computer, and there's a firestorm of opportunities flying at your face, then know your purpose, know your calling, know your skills, create a filter, and that will allow you to ignore a lot of the useless distractions. Then ask yourself: “What kind of person did God make me? How can I love as many people as possible with this person that is me, and what would make God happy?” Notice how that is a very “others-facing” way of filtering information. You're actually filtering life through two love filters: Love God, and love people. Those are actually the two greatest commandments in the Bible (see Matthew 22:36-40). Does this make God happy? Does this make people happy? Every single person walking on the face of this planet has the capability to ask those two questions about any decision in life. Perhaps you just haven't begun to yet. Have you?
Precept 63: Spiritual, Bro?
We can often guilt trip ourselves into thinking we're not spiritual enough. We may find ourselves thinking or saying: “Where are you, God? Why can't I see you, God? Reveal yourself to me, God. Show yourself to me, God. If you're really there, why don't you do a miracle for me, God?” Perhaps you have experienced this, and perhaps you've even guilt-tripped yourself into wondering why you can't sense, feel, taste, touch, or see God better. Why doesn't God “speak” to you like you've heard of Him speaking to other people? Are you just tuned out? Ignored by God? Not spiritual enough, bro?
Not necessarily. God is already speaking to you. A lot. Just look around you. God is there all the time: revealing, revealing, revealing, and revealing Himself. You are probably just too busy to even notice the slow sprouting of a seed, the blooming of a flower, the call of morning birdsong, the thundering of clouds, the pitter-patter of rain, the quiet wind through the trees, or the smile of a child. God is actually speaking to you all the time, and He loves to do so through nature, and through other people too. So your entire life is a spiritual awakening. You don't have to have a special Damascus road moment of bright, glorious light that blinds you and, in a flash, changes your life forever. If that happens, then great, but it's probably not going to. Instead, if you'd just stop and paid attention, you'll find that your entire life is a magical, spiritual experience. So maybe the next time you find yourself thinking, where are you, God? or do a miracle, God!, or show me how I can see you, God? you should instead just take off your shoes and go on a walk in nature to listen and watch God reveal Himself to you the same way He has been revealing Himself to you for your entire life. So quit asking, and start paying attention. You're already spiritual.
That's it for this week! If you have questions, comments, or feedback below, please leave your thoughts. I read them all!