Timing Is Everything, Fate Only the Result
Timing can thrill or kill
Timing isn’t everything, but we can’t live without good timing. Besides my 1970-71 tour as a soldier in Vietnam, there have been countless dangerous experiences from which I emerged unscathed. Timing has been a faithful friend even as it executed millions of others around the world. Whether relatively unscathed or critically affected, we owe everything to timing. Even before we are born, timing is at work protecting our developing embryo or offering it up to disease or deadly circumstance.
Timing verses Fate
Fate is often confused with timing. Unlike fate, timing is alive and comes in many actions, forms, and layers. Timing goes routinely unnoticed as our immune systems wage wars against potentially lethal bacteria and diseases. Good timing is the instant your body wins the battle against an illness or injury as surely as the inexplicable moment a World Trade Center employee called in sick on September 11, 2001. Good timing is the split-second decision to avoid a traffic incident and the reason some residents’ homes are spared when a tornado rips through a community. Good timing can be worldly or the product of a higher power. Bad timing is when someone drives under the influence and pays a price or is killed by a terrorist. There is no balance except the efforts we apply in faith or as moral beings. The rest is beyond our meager ability to understand or manipulate. Meanwhile, fate is merely the price paid, which can involve serious injury, deaths or just a citation. Sometimes we can see timing, other times it’s cloaked in a series of events and circumstances, but we always see fate; it is the universal result of timing, in time.
Right People at the Right Time
My most memorable case of bad timing unfolded direly and painfully when I was a skinny nine-year-old boy. Early during my fourth-grade term at Temple Terrace Elementary School, a local doctor was treating me for a stomach virus. The medicines he prescribed may as well have been Kool-Aid because I kept getting sicker. My parents said one day my temperature suddenly shot up to 107 degrees. That’s when I was rushed to Tampa General Hospital where I vaguely recall vomiting on myself and the gurney as people wearing masks shoved me into a small examination room. There, Dr. Wade Myers, Sr., the attending physician, quickly examined my bloated, rock-hard abdomen. My parents later said I was in and out of consciousness and my breathing was shallow when they were ushered out of the room.
Bad Timing can be Corrected by Good Timing
At 67, I still remember what Dr. Myers said just before I succumbed to a combination of administered drugs and illness. I’m sure he thought I was unconscious when he turned to a nurse and stated matter-of-factly, “ruptured appendix, prep him for surgery, he’s dying.”
I was hallucinating long before I knew what that meant and was later told that I babbled incoherently until an anesthesiologist mercifully put me under. But I always remembered his words, "he's dying".
Being misdiagnosed by the first doctor was bad timing that nearly killed me, but it wasn’t my time. Something larger took over and my good timing returned to challenge fate. Fate is the product of timing both good and bad - an end result, not a path. Though I faced more surgery and three months of recovery - missed 75 days of my fourth-grade class – my good timing returned. Thanks to Dr. Myers and a lot of people I never saw again, I have lived long enough to appreciate good timing and to respect bad timing.
Pay it Forward
Like Karma, good timing can be practiced and paid forward in the actions we take. Unfortunately, the same goes for bad timing, and our fate and that of others hangs in the balance.