Log In

Reset Password

Falling apart? Or falling into place?

The late author Chinua Achebe’s book, Things Fall Apart, received global critical acclaim

“Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.” Chinua Achebe

In this journey to somewhere there are plenty of sunny days if we are present enough to recognise them as such, but there are also perplexing days.

Days when a wind appears out of nowhere to rip the laundry from the line, inspiring the family dog to sneak out the house behind you as you rush to deal with it, only to be quietly returned to the garden hours later by neighbourhood children you barely know.

Days when things you rely on – like your laptop camera, which should work easily – absolutely refuse to work no matter how many tech support agents you consult.

Days when it suddenly appears that a job you have held for ages may suddenly be coming to an end and there is little that you can do to prevent this other than to stare at the sky and whisper “let it work out for the best”.

Popular wisdom holds that when we face challenges such as these we begin to find out who we really are and what we are made of. As much as this is true, these are also the type of events that cause us to focus on our own self (and what we can and cannot control), to the point that we may miss the larger message.

What is that you ask?

Perhaps it is the opportunity to realise that we are all part of something that is greater than ourselves – an interwoven, interconnected grid of checks and balances, snakes and ladders, and windfalls and misfortunes – that propels each of us towards a common destiny, and yet simultaneously provides each of us with the power to forge a unique path towards it.

But if that’s the case, how do we distinguish the line between fate and free will?

Perhaps we don’t.

Perhaps we simply don’t yet possess the knowledge or the intellect to do this.

But perhaps that is also the greatest gift of all – the ability to plan our own lives and experience the outcome of our decisions with all of the ups and downs and successes and misfortunes and yet get where we are going just the same.

Does an unseen force intervene at crucial moments?

I like to believe it does but I also think that if any such thing exists, it acts in ways that are incomprehensible to any individual journeying through this grid we affectionately call life.

And here’s the most interesting part of all – if any such force exists, it exists whether we believe in it or not – meaning that when we choose not to have faith, we simply experience the outcome of choosing to make a journey without faith. It does not necessarily mean that we are exempt from receiving “unseen intervention”.

Can I prove any of this?

Not a chance, but that doesn't bother me in the least. It simply makes the journey more intriguing.

Does having faith make a journey any better?

I’ll let you decide that for yourself and instead leave you with the following words penned by the American author J Lynn: “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”

Robin Trimingham is the managing director of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a business consultant, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or robin@olderhood.com

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 26, 2022 at 7:59 am (Updated April 25, 2022 at 2:49 pm)

Falling apart? Or falling into place?

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon