Years ago, I had the simple but life-changing revelation that G‑d guides us. I started looking for this guidance, and as I searched, I found it easier to notice.

I woke up feeling like I shouldn’t fly. And while I know people who’ve altered their plans on a feeling, I was never one of them; I refused to let fear make my choices. I told myself that if G‑d didn’t want me flying that day, He would make it impossible to board that plane. Simple. End of story.

I was, at the time, blind to the I woke up feeling like I shouldn’t flynumber of things that went wrong. I’d almost booked a ticket to the wrong state entirely. I deleted over 700 photos from my phone while trying to get a ride to the airport. I very nearly left without putting my shoes on.

Fifteen minutes after reaching the airport (and five minutes after misplacing my suitcase), I received an e‑mail that my flight was delayed and I’d miss my connection. I was offered a standby ticket through Chicago—with the possibility of being stranded in Midway Airport for nine or ten hours.

It was a blessing in disguise, I thought. I have a close friend in Chicago I’d been wanting to visit. And then I remembered this friend was away for the week. For that particular week.

The first plane to Chicago filled up, booked solid. My original flight was delayed three more times, and we now had flood warnings.

There was nothing to do; I cancelled all travel plans from the airport, apologized to the friend I’d been going to visit that evening, and went right back home.

I tried convincing myself it was for the best. I could now spend time with my brother before he went back to yeshivah. I could make another ticket.

Later that night, I went to check on my siblings and smelled something ghastly. Like cooking gone wrong. Like gas, but I could not be smelling gas all the way upstairs, and so late at night.

“What is that?” I asked my brother, the only person still awake.

“I have a cold,” he answered. “I can’t smell anything.”

It turns out our broken stove had been leaking gas, unnoticed, for about half an hour. Even the tiniest spark—a bit of static from the carpet, maybe—could have set the house aflame. My Everyone else had long since gone to sleepbrother had a cold and couldn’t smell a thing. Everyone else had long since gone to sleep. And if there hadn’t been enough delays to miss my connection, or if there had been vacancies on that second flight, or if my friend in Chicago had not been on vacation at that exact time . . .

G‑d had made it impossible to get on a plane that day. There was a more important place I had to be.