I love the word serendipity and the concept of unexpectedly stumbling across something even though you weren’t really trying to find it. Back when I worked in a research lab, I always said, “If we don’t leave our work benches messy, we don’t leave room for serendipity. After all, we wouldn’t have penicillin if Alexander Fleming was more conscientious!” Supposedly Fleming had a notoriously messy lab, and left some bacterial cultures out only to find the growth of the bacteria was inhibited by…you guessed it…Penicillium mold! Others were skeptical of my logic.
I think this concept can apply to the Church too, even though we usually call it by more theologically sound words. Preparing for Sunday, I was in a hurry to finish the worship service. So, I just went through the hymnal and picked out several songs we haven’t sung in awhile. None of them fit the message especially well, but hey at least they weren’t repeats! We ended up singing, among other songs, “To God Be the Glory,” and “My Tribute.” No big deal, right?!
Lo and behold, holy serendipity! During our announcements and prayer requests at my first church service, a woman told the story of her daughter’s involvment in a car wreck that ended up as a huge pileup. She and her family escaped unharmed. The mother said her song all week had been, “To God be the Glory,” and she had planned on requesting it during the service. Not only did that song proclaim God’s glory, but “My Tribute” also sings praise to the glory of God. She couldn’t believe those were the songs for the day! How cool is that?!