If there is one thing I learned from today, it’s that the time you are dealt with in the present can affect the time you are faced with in the future. In a split second, the whole outcome of a given day can change, and we can’t do anything but throw ourselves into this current of change, letting it sweep us into a place that was unknown previously.
Today, I got into a car accident.
In a situation where urgency envelops our five senses, time seems to move as a snapshot of moments, a visual collage of still-frame photos hastily jumbled up into one. As the back of my car rear-ended another car pulling out of the driveway, the concept of linear time vanished, and I saw the moments of my life collapse in front of my eyes just as the back bumper of my car collapsed onto the ground.
There are five stages of overcoming grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Usually, I don’t appreciate this compartmentalization of feelings into five distinct categories, since one cannot fully detect what stage one is in. However, as soon as my car collided with the oncoming car, adrenaline took over and I vehemently denied reality like Peter denying his discipleship with Jesus at the brink of dawn.
But the crux of the accident came with the bargaining stage, where I suddenly felt betrayed by the very same world that born me into it. In that 30 second window of leaving my house and backing out of my garage, the forces of the world played a game of Poker against me, stacking the odds and manipulating the deck of cards so that I would be left with no choice but to rear-end the car.
And that got me thinking for a bit. Had I left the house 30 seconds earlier or 30 seconds later, I would never have crashed into the car, and I would have moved on with my day just like any other days: serene and accident-free. Of course, I decided to leave my house at the middle ground of those two time intervals, the other person’s car decided to pull into the drive way at that precise time frame, and the world decided to play a sick joke, rendering both our cars and our well-being damaged.
Now that I’ve had some time to gain composure and analyze the accident in retrospect, I find it startlingly peculiar how these two automobiles – these two entities – happened to be in the same place at the same time, undertaking the same action in a same particular pattern. For this car accident to have happened, the world had to be working with us so that it creates a perfectly timed, beautifully choreographed sequence of action. The world was the director, and we were the actors playing in its movie.
If the movie had a title to it, it would be “Fate.” Objectively speaking, there are tens and thousands of car accidents that happen every day, and the two agents that are involved in the car crash were also carried by the serendipitous encounter of two worlds converging into one. We say that time is a succession of moments, which is accurate to a certain extent. But these moments are comprised of every individual fate encounters we have, and the way we experience the world and our surroundings are orchestrated by fate.
On that note, I won’t blame myself too much on the car accident, as this was all a part of the bigger picture in the course of my life. One fateful accident should not overshadow the numerous other fateful encounters I’ve had that were positive, life-changing, and wholesome. So now, after 24 hours since the derailment of my car’s back bumper, I write in tranquility, knowing that there are many more beautiful happenstances waiting for me out there, whether that beauty turns out to be glorious or quite calamitous.