Conspiracy vs. Providence

A Bucket of Bolts

Profound moments almost always happen providentially.

Rarely do we succeed when we contrive to create the perfect circumstances that will make us go AHA! Despite what movies would have us believe, we are ultimately not in control of much of anything.

My story is the same.

For a long time I have held an unusual image in my prayer: a bucket of bolts. A steel pail filled with bolts of all sizes. Some shiny, some rusty… some telescoping, some stubby. All bolts. Just bolts.

My never-ending question to the heavens: How am I supposed to make anything with just bolts? Work with me here.

But always… it was just bolts.

I’ve had to be creative. Very creative.

In truth, I have solved a lot of problems and made ideas happen using only bolts. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true.

I have also endured huge amounts of change over the past five years. Change of my own making and not. I have embraced change and I have choked on it. I know a thing or two about change / transformation / metamorphosis.

Change hurts and heals. Sometimes all-at-once.

A few months ago, I went to visit a friend. When I arrived at his office that day, the parking lot was jammed. I had to park in the North 40 and hike to the front door. By the time we had finished talking, the parking lot was empty and the hike back to my car was daunting. Endless miles of pavement between me and the speck that was my SUV.

What felt like a random route turned out to be quite specific. Unwitting really.

Directly in my path was a large nut. I picked it up. Providential because I’d just been talking to my friend about my latest bolt project… uncertain what I was being called to construct. And now, a real nut before me to add to my metaphorical bucket of bolts.

nut bracelet revI arrived home and made this bracelet straightaway. A physical reminder that the universe was indeed conspiring to help me succeed. In this new change. Again. Because I kind of felt like I was choking.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago.

It’s an early Friday morning and I am nervous as I wait to go to an important meeting. In the wee hours, I spontaneously set up this Q&A after nights of no sleep. [Now… I still can’t decide if it was a decision of bravery or stupidity… sleep-deprived for sure.]

Anxious as I mentally prepare, I receive an unexpected text message: Godspeed at your meeting.

A tiny bit of panic. How did they know? No one knew. It was too early to tell anyone. I replied.

Started twirling the nut on my bracelet. Creatio ex nihilo. Creation from nothing. It’s a nut.


The revelation drilled through the rock of my thick skull. It WAS a nut!

And when you have a bucket of bolts, one nut can make all the difference. You can actually begin building something that won’t fall apart. [Reminds me of that car commercial.]

All this time, I needed a nut to secure a bolt. And now I found one. You put it right in front of me.

Now,the real construction can start in earnest.

[The text message was the kickstart… thanks jbb… more than you know.]


4 thoughts on “Conspiracy vs. Providence

  1. And all along I thought I was the nut.
    I actually have a bucket of bolts in my workshop. One never knows when a stray nut and bolt might be needed.
    Prayers for whatever new adventure you start.


  2. Pingback: Ironical: A Bolt! | ChangePlane

  3. Pingback: #Unleash #Godzilla | ChangePlane

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