This piece by Betsy Lonsberry (Busy via the Christ Fellowship blog: Inside Out) was originally talking about being busy and how our schedules could cause us to miss God's divine appointment for our lives to love others. It is such a great post that has me thinking about my own schedule and how it relates to serendipity.
Personally, I'm someone who enjoys running off of a to-do list. I love seeing a full calendar packed with things to do and there really is a sweet satisfaction to crossing something off my list as 'complete'. By no means am I a type-A control freak who can't survive without her planner, but I've definitely come to understand and even appreciate the importance of using tools like planners and to-do list to be more efficient.
Yet, I can't help but think how my to-do list almost got in the way of what God had planned for me last weekend.
My planner almost made me miss out on my greatest assignment.
I started this past weekend with a laundry list of things I wanted to accomplish and an even larger pile of actual laundry to do. June was packed, especially after Belle Glade, so going into the weekend, I had every intention to use that time to "catch-up". Things like wash the pups, organize my office, and write/edit filled this list, and though all important tasks to me, not as important as the community and sisterhood that was cultivated instead. Last weekend, I went to a cookout, hit the beach twice and ran down to Miami to visit Vous Church and didn't even look at my to-do list. Though I had a list of "important" things to do, I felt it more important to sleep in, play spades, read a novel, take a girls' trip and spend a combined total of 12 hours at the beach (hello sunburn). All pleasant surprises that weren't planned for, but in hindsight, definitely needed. By Tuesday night, the pups still needed a bath, my office was a hot mess and my clothes were still sitting in a pile on the floor, but I went into the week refreshed, well rested, and re-energized. I ended up gaining so much more than anticipated by abandoning my to-do list and was pleasantly surprised this weekend, which to me is the epitome of serendipity.
By definition, you really can't create serendipity. It's something that you find when you're not looking for it. Something that you just happen to stumble upon. Yet, I have to believe that we can further create environments where serendipity can happen. And that starts with our schedules. By loosing up our tight grip around what we have planned, it gives room for the unpredictable to happen in our lives. Betsy worded it so perfectly:
I have to believe that sometimes His divine appointments in our paths include a few pleasant surprises along the way.
Some would argue that serendipity mainly relates to luck, chance or even karma, however what we know to be true is that whatever is good and perfect is a gift from God (James 1:17 NLT); so what may be a pleasant surprise to us, is nothing but God's plan working in our lives. As I continue to expand my ever-growing list of how I define God, I'm learning that God is full of surprises. Full of unpredictable, peculiar, whimsical (sometimes comical) surprises for us, because His love for us is just that great. Good and perfect things that we could never even think of, gifts we weren't even looking for.
I love the way the New Living Translation writes out Isaiah 55:8:
Far beyond anything you could imagine. What we have planned, what we think is good, is of no compare to what God has in store for us. Dare I say, our wildest thoughts doesn't even touch the surface of what God thinks for us and our lives, and I just want to stay open and available for that surprise. To allow God to come in and saturate with His love that He so freely gives.
I love that Betsy finished the article with this: "I’m ready for the divine interruption God gives me..."
How dope is that?
Ready for an interruption. Or in my own words: prepared for serendipity.
So I'm committed to more pleasant surprises in my life. I am opening up my schedule and I'm cultivating an environment where serendipity can take place. I may not know the details, but what I know to be true is that God has the unthinkable planned for me and for you, and sometimes we need to leave room in our schedule to allow the unthinkable to happen.