The Truth About Accidents

Learning that my wife was pregnant with identical twin boys while our first son was only eight-months old was not what I had planned for my life. Nearly three years of infertility struggles preceded our first pregnancy–this time it was pure chance. You would think that I would be joyful, but in all honestly, I was angry.

As if the financial implications of adding another child wasn’t enough, we were adding two. In addition to that, our small, three bedroom house would become more crowded and I would have less time to enjoy my first son and watch him grow up. The icing on the cake was my high-stress career.

All of these ingredients created the perfect combination for an emotional explosion.

The day I received the news is the day that I realized: My life will never be the same after this.

I guess this is what people mean when they say, “It was an accident.”

It is only now, with the wisdom afforded by hindsight, that I am able to see what was really going on below the surface. It is with deepest sincerity that I would like to tell you: there are no accidents.

Serendipity

There’s a word in the English language that means, “fortunate accident.” The popularity of this word is due in part to a chick flick staring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack which carries the word as its title–as does a boutique New York diner.

In the movie, you meet two characters whose paths fatefully cross one night at said diner in New York City. Not wanting to jump in too fast, they each place reminders of one another out into the world with the understanding that, if they’re supposed to meet again, they will. In essence, they write their contact information on a five-dollar bill and in the cover of a book, then they place them in circulation.

Years later, they are still haunted by that fateful night although they haven’t seen each since. As the plot unfolds, the are many fortunate accidents that finally reunite the two.

The movie, Serendipity, so beautifully portrays this word at work in the world.

But what if there are no fortunate accidents? What if all of life’s circumstances are leading us somewhere?

I believe that it is a learned skill to see the fortune within the accidents of life. 

And our ability to learn this skill is the key to living abundant, whole lives.

Accidents Are Leading You Somewhere

The birth of our twins began a chain reaction in my heart that showed me how deeply selfish and in need of help I really was. That event revealed some ugly truths beneath the surface in my life—a place, quite frankly, I avoided at all costs.

As I began to wrestle with this very real struggle of raising three children under the age of two, it taught me quite a bit about myself:

I didn’t need as much sleep as I thought I needed.

My own strength would fail, often.

Gratitude was a decision, not a feeling.

Most importantly, accidents are only a matter of perspective.

Greyson and Wyatt (3)

I’m learning that all accidents are leading us somewhere. It simply takes us being present in the moment–willing to become vulnerable about who we are becoming in light of what is happening.

If it had not been for the twins, I dare say that I wouldn’t have embarked upon an adventure to discover true meaning and purpose in my life. In turn, my book, Redefine Rich, would never have been written. If I would have continued down that path, I would be a selfish, angry father wondering why the world didn’t work the way I wanted it to.

I needed that accident.

In a way, that accident saved my life.

So here you are, reading this post. And there’s a reason for that, too. Remember, there are no accidents.

What in your life hasn’t gone the way you had hoped?

I’m sure there are many, but pick one thing. Now answer this question: What is that accident teaching you about yourself?

If you get nothing else from these words today, I hope you’ll hear this: Whether it’s a job or an illness or your marital status or your financial situation, everything in your life can teach you something if you let it.

Circumstances have the tendency to plant seeds of ingratitude if we let them. In turn, that ingratitude will yield bitter, crippled fruit.

On the other hand, we can choose to hold on to gratitude and find fortune, even within the accidents.

I pray that you will join me in choosing the later.

MH

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About the Author

headshot-footerMatt Ham is dedicated to guiding others toward rich living. His own experiences have led him to the understanding and freedom of a rich life, and through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover true richness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment.

His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here

You can order a limited hardback version of the book at www.redefinerich.com

To contact Matt, visit www.mattham.com/speaking

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  • Great story Matt, It take me way to long to learn that I might not be able to control my circumstances but I can control my attitude and how i respond. I may still be a little slow to have the right attitude but I come around faster than I used too.

  • Jane H. Dodd

    Thank you Matt! I needed that today. It always amazes me how God finds a path to speak to you thru someone else when it is needed the most. I so enjoy you podcost and loved your book You are blessed and an inspiration to may

  • So True – So True, Psalms 27 says, The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid? & I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Like you mentioned, it has taken me a long time to take the focus off me and put it where it matter. I say all this as # 4 is on his way soon. Blessings to you Matt

  • David Mike

    I’m reminded as I tell my story, that we never know what lessons we will learn or who will be affected by our mistakes (accidents).

  • Rachel Hayes

    Great insight. What came to my mind is what Puddleglum says in “The Silver Chair,” “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan.” I struggle to keep this wisdom in mind when things happen that I don’t like and can’t do anything about.

    Can’t wait to read more.