England Travel Journal – Day 1

I had a “chance” meeting with someone in this small town outside of London

Day 1 is always a travel day on GSB study tours. I usually focus on all the inconveniences of travel because they seem to preoccupy my thoughts. But this time I was distracted by something else.

The Greater Houston Area, all in, has about 6 million people. Given the number of people, it is unusual to see someone you know when you are out and about in the city.

So, I’m at the gate in the Houston airport waiting to board our flight to London, and I look across the way and see an employment attorney I know waiting to board a flight to Amsterdam. She is, in fact, one of the two employment attorneys in Houston to whom I refer plaintiff’s employment cases. So, I walked over and we chatted, both noting the coincidental nature of the meeting.

The GSB team and I then boarded our plane to London. As I am getting settled in my seat, I look up and see the person in the seat in front of me is an attorney/mediator I know, who is also from Houston. She is one of 5 mediators I typically use to mediate employment cases. She is also the mother-in-law of another employment attorney in Houston I have known for years. We both commented on the coincidental meeting, got caught up, and then settled into our seats for the nine-hour flight to London.

After arriving at London’s Heathrow airport, we picked up our rental car and headed to our first destination, the town of Windsor, where the GSB team planned to visit Windsor Castle.

As we are walking up the street toward the castle entrance, I see an attorney I know from Houston, an attorney many consider to be the best personal injury attorney in Houston, perhaps in Texas. We’ve known each other for years. He refers employment cases to me, and I refer personal injury cases to him.

So, we hug, and get caught up, and make small talk, halfway around the world from where we live, in this chance meeting in a small town outside of London. I have now run into three attorneys unexpectedly on this journey, all in some way connected with my law practice, one in an airport, the other on a plane, and another near a castle outside London.

G. K. Chesterton said coincidences are spiritual puns. I think what he meant was that just like a pun is a play on words that exploits the different meanings of the same word, a coincidence is a play on circumstances giving rise to different meanings of the same event. It is space and time folded over on itself. Because God is sovereign, we know to Whom to attribute the folding, and we can stand in awe, or sometimes just laugh.

I’m still not certain how to interpret these three chance meetings in a span of less than 12 hours. Maybe it’s the Lord saying He is sovereign over my law practice, or maybe it’s the Lord just having some fun with me, reminding me He is there and He is sovereign. Regardless, it all reinforces the truth that”A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord orders his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.

That is a good thing on this GSB Travel Journal because this is the least planned, most free-form journey we have taken. We have general ideas about where we are headed and who we will be studying, but the itinerary is mostly a blank page. Not the way I like to roll, but we shall see what unfolds, or what folds over on itself. GS

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