Free Will Rocks

I don’t believe in fate. I believe that we are free to choose our own destiny. I believe that where we end up in life is largely because of good and bad decisions we make.

Yet when it comes to my wonderful marriage to Marathon Girl, I sometimes wonder if it was some unseen power that brought the two of us together.

I bring this up because Wednesday’s episode of LOST (great episode BTW) was very fatalistic. (And for those who aren’t fans of the show, stay with me. I’m going to talk mostly about my courtship to Marathon Girl instead of the episode.) Desmond discovered that no matter what choices he made, it was fated to end up in the island pushing the button every 108 minutes apparently to save the world. If he didn’t break up with Penelope that day then something would happen the next day or the day after to make them break up. The universe, we are told, has a way of course correcting itself.

Back to my courtship with Marathon Girl: Had this been any normal relationship it never would have made it past the first date. But it seemed like some invisible hand kept pushing Marathon Girl and I together no matter how many mistakes and dumb decisions we made. Here’s just a small sampling of what happened when we were dating that makes me think the two of us were destined to be together.

  • It was by chance that Marathon Girl ended up going to the same church as I. Where most of her unmarried friends were going to a church for singles, Marathon Girl chose to attend a church where I was the only other single person.
  • For several weeks I tried to think of a reason to talk with her on Sundays. Unable to think of any excuse to start a conversation, her photo appears on the front page of the sports section of the local paper announcing she won the Ogden Marathon.
  • Our first date was the worst date either of us had been on. It was so bad that Marathon Girl ended up going back to her parent’s house that night and crying to her dad about it. Her dad, who is really big on making sure his daughters are treated with respect, shocked Marathon Girl and the rest of her family when he said that she should give me a second chance.
  • Our second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth dates were equally uninspiring. Yet I still felt that I should keep asking Marathon Girl out and she kept saying yes.
  • When we started dating, we were both in other relationships that weren’t going anywhere and that we didn’t feel were right. Yet somehow those relationships never got in the way of our seeing. For example, when I would call Marathon Girl and ask her our, I’d happen to ask her out on the only day of the week she didn’t have something planed with her then-boyfriend.
  • After six lousy dates we ended up talking about where this relationship was headed. We both agreed that we should stop dating each other and just be friends. On my way out the door, I ask Marathon Girl was she was doing that weekend. She said she wasn’t doing anything. I asked her out. She accepted. And we ended up having a perfect date. And the relationship took off from there.

So after LOST, I asked Marathon Girl, who is also a big believer in free will, if she thought we would have been together if I hadn’t stayed in Ogden after my late wife’s death or if she had chosen to attend a different church or one of us had made a different decision along the way if we would have ended up together. We talked for a good hour about it and both concluded that somehow the universe would have found a way to bring the two of us together.

Maybe some things are meant to be.