Coincidence or Synchronicity

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”

Albert Einstein

Do you believe in coincidence? How about synchronicity? I didn’t even know what synchronicity meant until it was discussed in a murder mystery I watched a while back. Curious about the term, I decided to look it up.

According to the dictionary, synchronicity is “the simultaneous occurrence of events, which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” Jungian theory calls it “an essentially mysterious connection between the personal psyche and the natural world” [Carl G. Jung (1960), Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle, Princeton University Press, 2012, p. 44.].

So, what is the difference between coincidence and synchronicity? Both mean “striking occurrences of two or more events at one time,” but coincidence is seen as only chance or luck while synchronicity implies the presence of a deeper intelligence at work.  I tend to agree Albert Einstein’s idea that it is God at work.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:11

When I was about to graduate with my master’s degree, I applied to serve as a short-term missionary through the International Service Corp. What followed had to be more than just coincidence.

When I went for the interview, I was to choose my top three positions for service. I had my mind set on Kenya, and I really wasn’t interested in any of the other options. My roommate (who was originally from Korea) insisted that I must go to Korea. I shrugged it off, but she kept insisting until I put it down as my second choice. I randomly wrote down a third choice and returned home to wait for a decision.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

My letter of acceptance was a bit confusing to say the least. It listed both Kenya and Korea in the job offer, so I called to get clarification. They surprised me by saying that they remembered my application in particular because there was a bit of a discussion regarding where I should go, but the final word was Korea.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

After a lot of prayer, I accepted the offer, and it was a wonderful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Not long after I reached Korea, there was unrest in one of Kenya’s neighboring countries and the missionaries there were forced to leave. A few of them ended up in Kenya and were able to take the position I had applied for in the first place.

I don’t think it was coincidence that I ended up with a roommate from Korea, or that she was so insistent on my going there. God knew where I needed to be and where other missionaries would need to be.

Recently, I have been praying for guidance and clarity about my writing as a profession and not just hobby. I attended an online conference, and the first speaker seemed to be speaking directly to me. I purchased her book on praying over your writing, and in it she mentioned a book that I purchased in 2012 at another conference. At the same time, I heard about another book on social media and marketing as well as some classes on how to use certain software in social media. I don’t think it was a coincidence.

God put me in the right place at the right time to hear the same themes over and over again from a variety of sources. It was the answer to my prayer complete with resources and training. Not only that, but when I wavered on whether to buy one of the books or pay for a very reasonable course fee, I was given a credit for almost the entire amount of the expense for both.

I believe in synchronicity because there is a deeper intelligence involved: The Holy Spirit. He is at work and moving around us if we will only take a moment to see it. I finished both books from that conference, ordered the other book and signed up for the courses. So, is it coincidence or synchronicity? Either way I think God is trying to speak to us. Are you listening?                                                  


I was one of the people affected by the Verizon outage earlier this week. I was trying to send a notice to my boss about running late and another to remind a friend. I kept getting a message that the text failed to send. I was getting aggravated and anxious that I was not able to get my message to its intended receiver. I thought maybe I had used up my texts, but then I remembered I have unlimited text messaging. As I drove in to work, still trying to get the messages out, I pondered the phrased unlimited. It means that something can be limited but isn’t presently, like text messaging services. The internet connection at work and home has been a little inconsistent all week, and to top it off Face Book crashed, twice. People were having melt downs over not being able to post to Face Book or use the apps.

While I was driving in to work Monday morning, God showed me that all these forms of communication are man-made and limited. They can crash, and they can fail. God, however, is not limited in anyway. He is limitless. Limitless…meaning you cannot put a limit on Him. You cannot stop him. You can always reach Him. Our connection to God through the Holy Spirit is always there and always online. There are no spots where you are out of service or don’t have any bars.  24 hours a day, 7 days a week He is there, and He is listening to us. In the storms last night, He heard our prayers even as some lost signal with the television station or cell tower. He was with us in the midst of that storm.

We spend a lot of time posting to social media, wanting to share our lives with someone, when all the time God was waiting to hear about your day, your hopes, and your fears. Maybe God was trying to get your attention by taking away your toy, like we often do to children. Not because He is mean, but because He has something important that we need to hear. So, why not take a few moments and put away your phone or tablet or 10 other electronic devices that you have and spend some time in His presence. You have a limitless plan with limitless possibilities. Why not make the most of it?