Did you ever hesitate to put your foot on the gas pedal when the light turned green – just as a tractor-trailer barreled through the red light? The hair stands up on the back of your neck and a chill goes down your spine as you sit there wondering what made you hesitate.

On the morning of 9/11, how many people were late for work or stayed home because they had gone to a game that got out late or had one too many at the bar the night before? Was it just luck, or was there something of a higher authority watching over them that day? Has a stranger ever given you a piece of advice that changed your life in a positive way, and you never heard or saw that person again?

In the movie Signs, the planet is being invaded by another race of beings, but first strange lights appear over cities around the world. The main character explains to his brother the meaning of luck and a sign:

“People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence that there is someone up there watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck, just a happy turn of chance. I’m sure the people in group number two are looking at those 14 lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a 50/50. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they’re on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there’s a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those 14 lights, they’re looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever’s going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See, what you have to ask yourself is: What kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?”

I am from group number one; I believe we are not on our own. Call it what you want – guardian angels, your deceased relatives still watching over you, or just faith in a higher authority – but sometimes life takes a strange turn of events that cannot be explained.

Early in my marriage, I was questioning if I had made the right move or if breaking up was the answer. I was on my way to work and stopped at the same gas station I had gone to twice a week for the past two years. This time an old guy whom I had never seen before came out to pump the gas, and he just started talking.

“Today is the 20th anniversary of me walking out on my wife,” he said. “You know, the minute I closed the door behind me, I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I wish I had gone back to her.”

I paid him for the gas and watched him walk back into the station. That night, I sat down and remembered why we had gotten married, and told my wife the story of the old man. I never saw him again, and the gas station is now gone. But I can still hear his words to me. Was it just a coincidence or was it a sign? Which group are you in?

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