The Other Side: Where do coincidences come from?

Updated 11:33 AM ET, Tue December 29, 2015

(CNN)Royce Burton was teaching history at a New Jersey university when he decided to tell his class about a frightening experience he had as a young man.

He was a Texas Ranger, patrolling the Rio Grande in 1940, when he got lost in a canyon after dark. He tried to climb out but lost his balance just as he neared the top of a cliff. Suddenly Joe, a fellow Ranger, appeared and hoisted him up to safety with his rifle strap. Burton thanked Joe for saving his life but lost contact with him after both men enlisted in the military during World War II.
Burton was in the middle of sharing his story when an elderly man appeared in the doorway. It was Joe, the fellow Ranger. He had tracked Burton down 25 years later and walked into his classroom at precisely the moment Burton was recounting his rescue.
"I'll have Joe finish the rest of the story," Burton said, without missing a beat as the astonished classroom witnessed the two men's reunion.
You could call Burton's story an amazing coincidence, but James Hollis calls it something else: "synchronicity" -- a meaningful coincidence.