Gail Borden was an early Texas land developer — what they used to call an empresario — in the early part of the 19th Century, before the Davy Crockett and Sam Houston years. His cattle empire took a bit of a step forward when he developed a process for condensing milk and putting it in a can where it would keep on the grocery store shelf. Yes, that Borden. The county seat of Borden County in West Texas is named Gail. Not a coincidence.
Just to the north is Post County. That’s named after C.W. Post, who discovered a way to package cereal flakes. Yes, that Post. And as far as I can tell, that particular juxtaposition — two names synonymous with breakfast separated on the map by a thin black line — is a coincidence. The two men made their fortunes in different decades and likely never met. It’s just one of those weird bits of Texas history I run across when I visit my parents. In any case, I suppose breakfast is a really, really big deal in that part of the state.
Maybe there’s just a force beyond our understanding that brings milk and cereal together. I’m not calling a work of providence, mind you; I’m just saying pieces fall into place sometimes in ways we do not understand.
Was it mere coincidence, for instance, that brought Esther to the attention of Ahasuerus? As her cousin famously said, “Who knows” whether God had a hand in it (Esther 4:14)? Perhaps all we can do is chuckle at the way things work out. On the other hand, perhaps we can find an unexpected way to do something remarkable in service to God and others.
It couldn’t hurt to try.