Serendipity, Providence, Fate…
Call it whatever you want; A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
I’ve had several instances in my life when I’ve had chance encounters that seemed orchestrated by the universe. These were encounters I couldn’t have devised on my own as they happened so organically. Yet, they were consciously or unconsciously, exactly what I wanted.
Famous people often describe getting their big breaks this way. They don’t negate the hard work and diligence that primed them for that break, but they acknowledge they happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Such a moment happened this past week. I got invited out to breakfast with a congregant and a well-known minister in the area.
While we were eating, two gentlemen came to our table to, as they said, “pay their respects” to the aforementioned well-known minister. They got to talking and it turns out those two gentlemen are professors at Point Loma University—less than 9 miles from where I live.
I shared in a post a couple weeks ago that my husband completed his doctoral program in Theology and Philosophy of Religion, a hard-fought battle. For the last few years though, we resigned ourselves to the belief that he wouldn’t get a job in his line of work because the academic job market, especially in Theology, is really suffering at the moment. There are just a handful of Theology positions all over the world and many Theology doctoral graduates are clamoring for those few positions.
My husband and I began to accept the idea that he would work in a completely different sector, perhaps write for various publications or even less related, work at a brewery since a) he loves beer and b) San Diego is rife with craft breweries. These possibilities wouldn’t have been ideal but we would have made the most of it.
Anyway, I got to talking with these professors and shared about my husband’s work. They then asked me to send over his information so they could connect him with the Dean of the Theology department at Point Loma University. One thing led to the next and now, my husband has a meeting with the Dean of the Theology department!
Of course, my husband could have just as easily looked up the Dean of Theology online and emailed him directly but the fact that a current professor made the introduction for him made him so much more credible.
I am hyper-cognizant that absolutely nothing may come of this but man, that interaction brought shivers down my back! It reminded me of other such moments when I was striving so hard to make something happen but it wouldn’t come together under my efforts. So I let go and a chance encounter came around that opened the door to exactly what I was looking for. These were opportunities I couldn’t have forced on my own (if you know me, you would know that I would've if I have could’ve).
In my description of my new workbook series, I shared why it’s so important to recognize both divine and human contributions when creating our lives. As powerful as we are as humans, our vision is simply limited. We don’t see everything at work around us. We don’t know about that random company that needs the exact skills we have. You don’t know about that guy out there that is perfectly suited for you but is completely different from your type so you wouldn’t pick him on your own accord. We can only perceive what is in front of us or what makes sense to us intellectually. This is why, as we craft our own beautiful and fulfilling lives, we need God (or the spirit’s, the universe’s, use whatever term for a higher being you connect with most) to help us. We need help from something much bigger than us, whose eyes can see more expansively than ours.
And when we are open and accepting of that help, we begin to notice clues, nudges and serendipitous moments to assist us. They’re happening all around us and all the time. The problem is that most of us are shut off from these experiences because we’re set on figuring it out on our own or we’re cynical towards divine assistance. We complain and tell scarcity narratives about how “there’s nobody out there for me” or “I’ll never get a job I want.” These stories become self-fulfilling prophesies.
I invite you to change your orientation towards the world through two action steps. God wants to help you; Here’s how to receive that help: 1) Practice gratitude for all of the blessings already in your life. This first step is important because gratitude leads you to the next step. You can read previous posts about the power of gratitude here and here. And 2) Have a spirit of openness to God. Miracles will start happening around you.
Can you recall previous serendipitous moments? Do you believe in divine assistance or are you skeptical towards it? What would it look like for you to change your orientation to the world and start being open to chance events and encounters that you couldn’t have created through your own conjuring?
If you’ve had such moments in the past or have such moments after you change your orientation, I would love to hear about it. Shoot me an email through my contact form here.