“Meant to be”

I’m puzzled by the frequency with which I hear the phrase, “It was meant to be.” It implies that some force or god was controlling events and that the meant-to-be experience was orchestrated.

It’s interesting that the phrase is used equally by christians and non-christians. So for christians, the phrase points to God for the meaning. And the non-christians give credit to Fate or some other impersonal force for the occurence.

My demonic mind wants to ask these meant-to-be people how they know it was “meant to be.” Normally you would think that there was some undeniable marker that identified it as meant-to-be.

For example, if it was meant-to-be you’d be able to connect that event to some other significant and meaningful event such as a peace treaty, cure for cancer, finding a really great job, or restoration of a broken relationship. But too often these events dangle in the moment and are soon forgotten.

Even then you have to be careful. Sometimes meant-to-be is simply a euphemism for “that event made me really happy.” It was sweet and nice in the moment, but it had no further impact on anyone’s life.

I once met someone in a Paris subway who was a friend of a Kiwanis buddy of mine back home. The meeting was coincidental and fun, but not meant-to-be. We were just American travelers bumping into each other in a chance occurence. Nothing ever came of it.

If it was meant-to-be it would imply that God, gods, or Fate had arranged the whole trip, not just that meeting. Arranged it from the original idea to go to Europe, to the itinerary, to the accident of staying in Paris an extra day, to the time we woke up that morning, dressed, ate and arrived at the subway. Such a scenario would presume a universe that is controlled in every aspect. And human beings who are nothing more than pawns being moved around on a board.

I had one of those meant-to-be conversations with a person recently. My prediction is that this will be the last that person speaks of it.

“Meant to be” for him is more like “I had a really neat and surprising experience today, and it was a blessing to me.” Why couldn’t he have just said that instead of “God is controlling my every step”?