One of the things I enjoy is studying words. I like to pay attention to the origin and meaning of words. I want to know where they came from and how they got into the English language. One of the words I ran across this week was “serendipity.” Now I understand what the word means and how it is used. It’s used to described something that happens unexpectedly. It comes as a surprise and usually refers to something good.
The word was coined by an English author back in 1754. He was reading a fairy tale called, “The Three Princes of Serendip.” The story is about three princes who traveled to the island of Ceylon which was called Serendip at the time. They were in search of great treasures which they never found. But on their journey they were constantly surprised by unexpected things which were quite amazing. While looking for one thing, they found something else, something good.
Serendipity is a good word to describe what happens in life all the time. We spend our time and energy searching for the treasures of life. We work for money. We seek success. We hope to find satisfaction in our accomplishments. We convince ourselves that the more we have the happier we will be. We believe that our homes, cars, possessions, vacations, are what life is all about. What would life be without them?
Then when we look around we see a life filled with problems. Troubles abound all over the world. They fill our lives as well. We struggle to make our marriage work. The kids are having problems at school. We’ve done things of which we are ashamed. We have messed up more often than we can count. Add to that aches and pains, illness and disease, and the fear of death. Life just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
That’s when the Lord steps in. Serendipity! God comes to us and surprises us with good things, great things! In place of trials and troubles, the Lord promises blessings! With his love and power he promises to use all things for our good. When our conscience troubles us and our sins condemn us, he comes with a promise of forgiveness. If we want happiness, security, a great future, God gives us all of that. In fact, not just for this life but the life to come.
Serendipity. I like that word. It means good things are going to happen. When God is involved, I am sure of it.