Founder, Forward Edge International
NW based international organization
If there’s one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear it’s that none of us are fully in control of our lives. What we can control, though, are our choices. And those choices ultimately determine the story of our lives.
Several years ago, I coined a word that conveys what I’m talking about here. The word is “serendestiny”—a combination of the words serendipity and destiny. Webster defines serendipity as “the phenomenon of experiencing things not anticipated or sought for, usually pleasant surprises.” I define serendestiny as “the phenomenon of discovering one’s destiny by responding with faith and obedience to God-ordained circumstances not anticipated or sought for.”
The Bible is rich with examples of serendestiny:
– Moses’ encounter with the burning bush;
– Joseph languishing in prison before being asked, out of the blue, to interpret Pharaoh’s dream;
– Mary visited by the Angel Gabriel;
– God intervening in human history through the incarnation of His Son;
– Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Now our own serendestiny moments may not be as dramatic as these, but they’re no less real, and no less central to the unfolding of God’s plans for us. I’m convinced, in fact, that fulfilling our God-given destinies often has less to do with our pursuit of pre-conceived plans than our response to circumstances we didn’t anticipate or seek for—circumstances beyond our control.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve seen many inspiring examples of people responding to their serendestiny moments with extraordinary faith and obedience. Like the restaurant owner in New York, a personal friend and Forward Edge partner, who’s been delivering meals to non-profits that serve the poor and needy. Like our Forward Edge partners in other countries preparing and distributing food parcels to the families of children in their programs. And like the girls at Villa Esperanza, our home for at-risk girls in Nicaragua, making masks for the families of Villa staff and others in the local community.
But perhaps the easiest way to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with faith and obedience is to simply reach out to people God puts on your heart. In the case of Forward Edge, our headquarters staff has been calling people on our mailing list—just to ask how they’re doing and how we can pray for them. We also share their prayer requests at our daily Zoom-call prayer meetings. This simple, caring gesture, something any of us can do, has proven to be deeply meaningful—not only for the person receiving the call, but the staff member making it.
I believe God has opened “a window of grace” in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic for the deepening of relationships. That’s why I want to encourage you to think of one person every day you can reach out to, just to see how they’re doing, and how you can pray for them. We may not be able to control the challenging circumstances we all find ourselves in these days, but we can experience this as a serendestiny moment—as a unique opportunity to reconnect with God and one another in ways that might not otherwise have been possible.
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