Discovering Serendipity

Proverbs 16: 20 – He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good, and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

Read 1 Samuel, Chapters 9 and 10.

Have you ever travelled down a dirt road after a big or several days of rain? The wheels of the cars and trucks make big ruts in the road. Now different vehicles make different ruts and there could be several lanes of ruts in the road. Some are easier to navigate than others. So, we need to choose the rut that allows us to travel the best. In Alaska ruts are famous, especially after the thaw then freeze. There is a sign that says, “Choose Your Rut Very Carefully Because You’ll Be In It For The Next 50 Miles.”

Let’s look at the ruts we choose to navigate.  Many, most people, get an idea and they can’t let it go, even if a better idea comes to them. They do not want to get out of that mind set to see other opportunities or ideas.
We can experience many wonderful and exciting adventures if we let ourselves take of the blinders, get out of that rut.
The scripture from I Samuel, chapters 9 and 10 is an excellent example of how we all need to be open for other ideas and experiences.. Now I do not want to print the two chapters here so will paraphrase and ask you to read them to yourself. As we read this, ask yourself to think of the characters as also part of you. Think of yourself and your life and how you personally deal with experiences and how you may deal with them in the future.

  There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish son of Abiel .  a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. He had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had strayed. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the boys with you; go and look for the donkeys.”
Ugh – I and you, too probably, have been asked or told to do something that just wasn’t anything you looked forward to – “boring!!!” But we carried it through anyway. Can you just see young Saul saying, “What an exciting day this is. I have been asked to go and look for donkeys . . .” ( Now many of you know I raised donkeys and loved them to pieces so in my mind I am not saying donkeys but saying another animal that I don’t raise – ha ha).

  He passed through the hill country of Ephraim . . but they did not find them [the donkeys]. When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the boy who was with him, “Let us turn back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and worry about us.”
Ahh, the opportunity to give up, turn back….we all have had these thoughts, especially if the task is mundane.

The boy said, “There is a man of God in this town; a man held of honor. Whatever he says always comes true. Let us go there now; perhaps he will help us.” The boy told Saul that he had a quarter of a shekel of silver as a gift offering so he will tell us our way. . . . Saul said to him, “Good; come, let us go.” So they went to the town where the man of God was.
The boy was willing to give his shekel for the opportunity to learn more. Our journey always has a price to pay, whether monetary or experiential, or physical.  If we want to find new opportunities, new journeys, new pathways to better ourselves, are we willing, to pay the price to accomplish this? To pay the price can lead to a wonderful experience and life.

As they travelled, they saw some women drawing water. “Is the seer here?” They answered, “Yes, there he is just ahead of you, near the town center. Go up, for you will meet him immediately.” So they went up to the town. As they were entering the town, they saw Samuel coming out toward them on his way to the shrine.

Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be ruler over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have seen the suffering of my people, because their outcry has come to me.”

When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you. He it is who shall rule over my people.” Then Saul approached Samuel inside the gate, and said, “Tell me, please, where is the house of the seer?” Samuel answered Saul, “I am the seer; go up before me to the shrine . . .”.

“…For today you shall eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is on your mind. As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, give no further thought to them, for they have been found. And on whom is all Israel’s desire fixed, if not on you and on all your ancestral house?”

Now what would you have done? What if Saul had said, “Oh, I can’t go to the temple and eat with you. See, I’m looking for donkeys. I have my mind fixed on that. I’m in a program. Even though you appear to be giving me good right now, I just can’t accept it because I have my original goal and I cannot accept this good coming to me. I am on this path, in this rut, and I must follow it to the end.

“I’m like a horse with blinders on, and I cannot look to the side even though I might see good or might see God’s will for me. I have my own human will, and I’m going to continue on because I have picked my rut. I’m going to walk in it even though it is muddy, boring, and mundane and I don’t like it. What you’re offering me seems exciting, but after all, it is change. I’d better not do this right now. I’d better stick to my agenda.”

“Saul answered, “I am only a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel, and my family is the humblest of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin. Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”

Then Samuel took Saul and his servant boy and brought them into the hall, and gave them a place at the head of those who had been invited, of whom there were about thirty. And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion I gave you, the one I asked you to put aside.” The cook took up the thigh and what went with it and set them before Saul. Samuel said, “See, what was kept is set before you. Eat; for it is set before you at the appointed time, so that you might eat with the guests.”

So Saul ate with Samuel that day. When they came down from the shrine into the town, a bed was spread for Saul on the roof, and he lay down to sleep. Then at the break of dawn Samuel called to Saul upon the roof, “Get up, so that I may send you on your way.” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.”
Now, all this leads to the historical fact that Saul became the first King of Israel. By turning to the side of the road and going into town and eating with the Prophet – not at all on his agenda.

What does this say about you, about me? How do we react when given choices to change the direction we’re going? Do you feel like you are alone and have to do everything (the weight of the world on your shoulders)? We think we have to focus only about getting the donkeys back.

Now, if we will just listen as we pray, wonderful messages may be revealed. One could say to you as it says to me, “Hey, Pastor Peggy, get off of it. Don’t worry about the donkeys. There is something else here that is much higher than just your “donkeys. . There is a mission. Open your eyes to the serendipity of it, and you will find it and it will be a joy for you.” But I/we have to be open to the side trips that will come in our journey.
As they were going down to the outskirts of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the boy to go on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.” Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him; he said, “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people Israel. You shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their enemies all around.”
Then he told him of the wonderful things that would occur on their way during their journey home. Remember, when you’re going with God, not only is the journey there fun, but the journey home is fun also. There are always new experiences for you.

Samuel also told him: you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the shrine with a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre playing in front of them. They will be in a prophetic frenzy. Then the spirit of the Lord will possess you, and you will be in a prophetic frenzy along with them, and you will be turned into a different person.
Aren’t we all on a journey? Life itself is a journey. When we listen and listen intently in prayer and meditation to God, we will live in joy and euphoria. We can jump right out or steer right out of that rut we’ve been in. And like Saul, we will begin a new adventure and become a new person (for us in Christ). Accepting God and His grace and mercy and looking forward to His journey for you, relieves you (all of us) of our heavy, human burdens.

We can’t enjoy that euphoria if we hide from life, remain in that rut with blinders on. Make a commitment to move onward and take detours and dance in circles. Look around at all God has to offer and grab the balloon. .Look around; don’t worry about the donkeys; find your euphoria.

Serendipity!   Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardoso said this about serendipity: Like many of the finest things in life, like happiness and tranquility and fame, the gain that is most precious is not the thing sought but one that comes of itself in search for something else.

The Ahh Haa Moment!

“There is an ancient word from an old Persian fairy tale called “abacatastisis.” It means that if something occurs in your life today that looks like absolute disaster, good is going to come out of it.

Look back on your own life. I’ve looked back on mine. Many of the things that have happened to me that I considered disastrous in the moment turned out to the be greatest blessings that have ever happened in my life – Abacatastisis! Thank God that it occurred. I would have stayed in my rut and would have never turned to into a different direction had that not occurred.”

Let’s begin to look beyond what is right now and realize that every little thing, every event, every experience connects with a more amazing one.. Let each of your new and wonderful experiences create for you a magnificent journey.

You know by now that Saul could have said, “No, I don’t have time right now, but thanks anyway. I don’t have time to go to your feast. I don’t have time to be anointed. I don’t have time because I am on a journey for my father and I love my father. I’m going to find his donkeys. I don’t have time to become the king; I must find my donkeys.”

“When you’re looking for your “donkeys” and someone offers you something really fantastic, step back for a minute from your human mind and say, “Wait a minute, is something wonderful occurring in my life? Maybe I want to think about this. Maybe I want to choose to go in this way.” When you do, life becomes incredible.” I.C.

There are three qualifications you need for your journey:

1. Expect great things;

2. Be prepared to move, to change, to accept;

3. Take off the blinders and be aware; see the wondrous destiny that is    yours.

If you do, (and you will), life will be amazing and wonderful.  You will discover and experience Serendipity!

May God bless you!

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