We have a friend in another state, Abby, who became known for her excellent culinary skills. She had gone through a tough patch the last five years after a divorce and a career change. After being a restaurant cook, after catering special events, she fell into being a personal chef for a few well-to-do people. By the end of 2019, she was in the right place at the right time. Turns out the pandemic shutdowns last March created a hidden demand -- home-delivered freshly cooked meals. She now has 400 weekly clients and five chefs who work for her full-time. When her new building is finished in March 2021, she will double her existing business.
We have another distant friend who leads a growing church. In 2019 he began to feel an urge to develop an online presence for the church's ministry. Despite being a young pastor, this was something he had neglected to do. Old guys like me need to be goaded to reach out on the internet (I'm now on Youtube). But young guys like Bryan gravitate to it naturally. After postponing the plan for many months, he finally jumped into it last January. By the time restrictions on large gatherings came due to covid-19, his congregation was ready. Many new viewers are also very supportive. His impact -- by the gospel -- upon people's lives has multiplied because he acted at the right time.
There's a word for chancing upon an opportune moment. It is serendipity. It means "the occurrence or development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." I could say that spotting my future wife across the admin lobby on the first day of college was a serendipity for me. Apart from knowing Jesus, she has been the greatest source of blessings in my life. I love the word serendipity and I love it when it happens. Serendipities are a reality. I've had more of them than I can count. If you stop and think about it, they are a factor in your life as well.
Knowing that a serendipity is waiting should cause you to be thankful for the past and expectant for the future. Count your blessings. Think about the "chance encounters" that enabled you to seize an opportunity. Think about the key person you happened to meet who opened up a significant door for you. Think about the random idea that led you to prepare for an important change. You may be one phone call away from a new fulfilling career. You may be one chance meeting away from a new connection that will cause you to prosper. You may be one conversation away from a blessing, from meeting your future partner in life.
Don't discount the power of urges, nudges or promptings -- ideas that won't go away. You might say that it is your subconscious bringing up awareness of dreams or hopes. I say it is the prompting of the Holy Spirit who wants to communicate your Heavenly Father's best possible outcome, both for his kingdom and for your fulfillment. There is a synergy of grace as heaven and earth come into alignment, when your human purpose perfectly lines up with God's plan.
Serendipity is more than good fortune or random chance. It is synchronizing kairos and chronos with your life experience. I'll quote from the great prophet Isaiah, who said...
"O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness." (Isaiah 25:1 NASB)
-- Ron Wood is a retired pastor and author. Contact him at [email protected] or visit www.touchedbygrace.org or follow him on Facebook @touchedbygracenwa. Opinions expressed are those of the author.