I was in the midst of a recent morning commute when I came across a segment titled “The One That Got Away” on one of the local radio stations. I listened as the female caller detailed her recent experience working on a road construction job. She was in charge of the stop sign letting cars drive through the single lane, and every morning a handsome man in a red pickup truck would chat with her on his way to work as he waited his turn to drive through the construction zone. Her attraction to him grew throughout the week, and he even brought her doughnuts on that Friday to brighten her morning.
Her assignment on that site soon ended, and she never did exchange contact information with the man in the red truck, which led her to call into the radio station and let their private investigator track him down for the special segment. Because she had noted the license plate on his truck, the private investigator was able to find the man, and the disc jockeys interviewed him on the air. She was the one who got away, he said, and he promised to never let an opportunity like that pass him up again.
With tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and a basic Google search, it’s difficult to imagine how circumstances like this occur. With only a few pieces of information, anyone can access another person’s photos, work history or a satellite image of his or her residence. There’s even a web site called “Long Time Lost” dedicated to finding elusive romantic connections. Yet this radio segment suggests that there are still people among us who search for “the one who got away.”
But does this person really exist? Are there really people who slip out of lives who shouldn’t have? Can we miss the one who God has planned for us to share our lives with?
Catholic singles live out these questions every day. We come in contact with people in the workplace, at our schools and in our social circles who may appear to be more than just a friend. But many times we balk at suggesting a coffee date or a casual brunch after Mass and wonder, “Did I miss my chance? Did I let my window of opportunity close for good?”
As Catholics, we are blessed to know that this is not possible. The world may believe in “the one that got away,” but our faith and our God promise that all things are possible and everything works to fulfill a perfect plan.
So what if you don’t give your number to your neighbor down the hall or you don’t approach that friendly face after Mass. God knew exactly how each situation was going to play out. Nothing gets away from Him, and we can be assured that the spouse He has created for each us will come into our lives in the very moment He planned all along.
In God’s eyes, “the one who got away” does not exist.