This unconventional attitude of mine has sometimes led me to the edge of the pit of real poverty, and the pit of real poverty is not a nice place to be. It’s a sticky, clinging sort of place that’s difficult to get out of, and attempts to get out of it often just lead to lower and lower levels. (It’s how people become homeless, and sometimes kill themselves.) I’ve stood at the point of being unable to function for more than another week or so, and of seeing no prospect of being able to pay the rent that month or any future month. But here’s the interesting bit:
Whenever I’ve been in that situation – without exception – enough money has unexpectedly dropped into my lap, sometimes from the most unlikely sources, and I’ve been able to carry on. Looking back on it now, it has me wondering.
It all seems a bit too much, a bit too perfectly timed, to be mere coincidence. Calling myself ‘lucky’ seems somehow inadequate. Surely, lucky people are those who win the lottery and buy themselves a new car or a cosy seat in the cabin of comfort. Simply being given the means to carry on appears to hold more gravitas than a mere lucky break.
And that makes me suspect that there might be some preconceived plan involved, or maybe the intervention of a higher being (or even both, since they are not mutually exclusive; the doctrine of determinism does not deny free will even on the part of the gods.) If that is the case, it would appear that there might be some sort of bargain attached to the business of my life, and bargains have two sides.
So now when I exhort the favour of whatever higher being might be listening, I ask for the strength to carry on and the ability to do or say the right thing when the lot falls to me. Because it seems – rightly or wrongly – that maybe I have my half of a contract to keep.