Coincidence or Answered Prayer?

State: New Hampshire

Fan Topic Suggestion by Sheila Harper

One of the big missions of my trip across America is to get stronger in my Christian faith. After 6 months on the road, my faith has never been stronger. The reason is I’ve seen God working in my life.

One of the first prayers I did on this journey was along these lines:

“Lord, I know I can be stubborn and my head can get in the way, so I don’t know if it’s you talking to me or not. So can you please just show me in my travels and let me know it’s you.”

And one of the prayers I do nearly every day goes along these lines:

“Lord, please guide me on the path you’ve set for me and lead me to people I’m supposed to meet along the way.”

Keep these two prayers in mind as I continue.

The fan question from Sheila Harper asks: “Is it really a prayer answered or is it coincidence?”

I’ll answer this question based on my experiences on the road alone. The reason is because this topic is wonderfully far-reaching and could fill a book if I broadened my horizon with in-depth biblical research, other people thoughts throughout history, ect.

On this journey, you may have seen a post or two with this quote “What happens when you pay your tithes?”

Tithes – are when you give 10% of your earnings to the church. However, I am not so restrictive to the 10% because I can’t be. I don’t always have that much cash on me and my income is very minimal because it comes from fans like you who enjoy my writing and any odd jobs I get along the way. So I give what I can, but I digress. The point of tithes is for the money to go to the church to continue its work reaching people and gaining souls for the kingdom of heaven. By the giving of tithes you are blessed.

My old man used to ask me the very question (“What happens when you pay your tithes?”) as a joke because something uncanny continually happened every time he did:

“You get coconut cream pie!” he would say eating the free slice of pie he would get, nearly every time he paid his tithes. Even at different restaurants he had never been too. Also if you hadn’t guessed, my dad’s favorite pie is coconut cream.

Despite seeing this growing up, I didn’t put much stock into it. I mean, I still put offering in occasionally, but to put it frankly…it seemed like a waste of money to me. I mean as I kid what I saw was I could go buy a candy bar or I could put my money in a golden plate and wave to it goodbye as it disappeared down the aisle.

As I grew older, I understood it better as providing funds for the church, but still didn’t put much stock into the blessing part despite seeing what happened to my dad. I mean, nothing spectacular was happening to me…or so I thought.

Blessings are often unseen because people don’t look for them, but remember what I said about asking God to show me on this journey?

As I reflect writing this, I think of all of the rides I’ve gotten, but I know what your thinking.

“A thumb goes a long way into getting a ride.”

Well, one thing about my journey is that I don’t hitchhike. Yet if someone offers me a ride in the direction I’m going, I’ll usually take it. Honestly, I’ve lost count of how many rides I’ve gotten and if you’ve read my previous blog posts you know I’m telling the truth. But again I know what you’re thinking.

“You’re a serious extrovert and have an interesting story to boot. Of course there are good people who give you rides.”

This is true and I don’t deny there are good people out there who give rides to backpackers. However, why would I bring this up if I knew you would think that?

Because I have had many people say to me “You don’t understand. I don’t give people rides off of the street, but for some reason, something was telling me to give you one.”

This usually occurred right after paying my tithes. Not enough proof for you? Well, aside from the fact that I chronicle my journey in my journal and can put names and dates to these people, there are a few moments that flat-out blew me away.

To quote a pastor I listened to on this journey “When God shows up, God shows off!”

Nothing proved this more than my Roadside Chinese miracle, which I invite you to read by clicking the words after you finish this article.

When I arrived in Portsmouth NH, I met two very nice ladies who happened to be atheists/secular humanists. We had a long and great conversation about life, philosophy, and our stories. I shared with them my Roadside Chinese story and despite loving the story, their different point of view and belief/lack thereof (honestly, don’t know much about secular humanism nor will I pretend too) made them mention that it was probably just a coincidence. I wasn’t upset by this in the least because this was something that happened to me and I know the odds would have to be astronomical for it to be a coincidence. You can judge for yourself whether you believe this was coincidence or an answered prayer…but I know what I believe.

Forever your friend,

~The Outsider

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