While sitting on the bow of a small boat sailing between some of the most beautiful islands in the world, I realized an example of God’s best work was probably sitting in the cabin behind me.

God has a rather amazing sense of instincts. What we think should happen — a logical progression of events or information — is regularly interrupted by his ability to mix together what appear to be highly contrasting elements resulting in an unexpected outcome.

And as beautiful as the islands are, nothing compares with the beauty of how God put together the handful of couples my wife and I are sharing very limited living quarters with for a week.

The technologists of the world believe they’ve figured out how to create the formula for compatible relationships through the use of sorting and matching of data points. Through questions on values, behaviors and interests, the accepted premise is that a sophisticated algorithm can help create the perfect pairing of couples.

God, on the other hand, seems to toss out surface logic to create amazing relationships based and built on a handful of sometimes invisible attractions.

And so goes this group of couples we’ve come to know over the past several years.

In direct opposition to whatever sophisticated calculations could deliver, many of the best couples I’ve witnessed are much more along the lines of “Beauty and the Beast” than the result of the cross indexing of data points.

For example, on this small boat alone, everyone has taken a dramatically and individualized pathway to this point in life. 

And no two couples share the same dynamics or background. But what they do share is a deep-seated respect and love for each other that trumps any other issue that might’ve thrown up a red flag when data sets are compared on a spreadsheet. There is something else there — and, literally, only God knows why.

No two couples are twins — that is sharing a great number the same limited fields of interests. On the contrary, in this group you’ll find people with diverse interests ranging as wide as the backgrounds they come from. Each person is independent to the bone and very committed to his or her personal universe of interests.

But it is here that God inserts a special hidden formula into the calculations — thus leaving the more predictable man-made outcomes behind. Somehow, somewhere lays a small but powerful attraction to the other based on love, respect and the understanding that each is a better person because of the other.

This simply, I believe, cannot be recreated no matter how many adjustments are made to an algorithm running across large man made data sets. God, we learn, just simply plays with a different set of tools.

I realize there is not a foolproof formula for relationships. I also understand what God brings together can be undone by our human shortcomings. But in the end, I know we don’t always need to be looking over the side of a small boat to discover God’s most beautiful creations.

Leonard Woolsey is the publisher of The Galveston County Daily News. You can reach him at leon


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