Do you ever wonder how your life would be changed if fate didn't come into play?
I wonder if I chickened out on that double date offer from one of my friends in 2006 if I would have ever met my future wife. If I bailed on that offer, would I have ever been a dad?
Fate can work in strange ways and a few decisions can really have an impact on our lives. The problem is we don't know what those decisions are at the time and what impact they could potentially have.
When I think of fate I tend to think about a couple of friends I have in the Chicago area.
A friend of mine named Matt was at a record store in Chicago and started a conversation with a total stranger - a girl named Cassie.
I remember him telling us he met a girl at a record store, but he liked to keep some things private so he didn't tell us her name for a few weeks. She was known as "Record Store Rita" in our circles until he eventually gave us her real name.
Eventually, this chance encounter in a record store led to a relationship, which was followed by a marriage and now two children.
What would have happened if either of them decided not to go to the record store that day? Or decided to go a few minutes before or after they actually did?
It's strange to think about.
I have another friend who met his wife while waiting for bus in Chicago - yes, those things still happen occasionally these days. Now, several years later they also have two children.
I guess fate is one of the wonders of the universe - how these moments can help shape our lives.
Thinking about this leads me to a country song - doesn't everything lead me to country song?
The Garth Brooks hit "Unanswered Prayers" comes to mind. We hope for so many things in our past to work out, but sometimes it's not meant to be. We have to wait for fate to kick in for us as we never know what's behind that next door.
It's these twists of fate that make life interesting.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org