“It grabbed me and would not let me go,” a man said during a radio interview. I don’t remember what he was talking about, but I resonated with the phrase. So often, a word or image grabs me and sticks like glue, whirling around my mind and intruding into my thoughts for days or even weeks.
Recently, the phrase chances are has taken hold of me. First a friend mentioned she was reading a book by that title. Over the next few days, I heard the song by Johnny Mathis—not once but twice—and then those two words were used in a sermon. Chances are.
Being mindful for me means paying attention to this kind of thing. Being mindful means noticing what I notice, and I noticed this phrase. Why? What invitation is it offering to me? What meaning does it hold for me?
Johnny Mathis sang this dreamy love song in the 1950’s, and I only recall the first line.
Google tells me that the phrase means that something is likely to happen but is not certain.
So what is likely to happen in my life? Or is the emphasis more on what is not certain?
At random times, this phrase pops into my mind, unbidden and seemingly unconnected to anything that is happening at that moment. It has grabbed hold of me and won’t let go.
I pray for insight and guidance. I want to be open to what is likely to happen. I want to be receptive.
We have entered the season of Advent, a time of anticipation and watchful waiting. It is the perfect time to ponder the words, phrases and images that catch my attention and stay with me.
Last weekend, I officiated at a wedding, and before the ceremony, the young man who was reading from 1 Corinthians told me he had practiced the reading that morning and one line jumped out at him.
“I kept reading and re-reading that line,” he said, his voice marveling at what almost seemed like magic to him. “I love that line,” he added.
“Perhaps there is an invitation to you in those words,” I suggested.
Chances are this same thing happens to you. What do you make of it when it does? Do you allow the words or images to swirl around you? Do you take time to reflect on what catches your attention?
Like Mary, John the Baptist and the other people in the Advent stories, God reveals something of the divine through our personal life experiences. What grabs us and won’t let go may be part of the process.