Sometimes things just come together. Lately I have been experiencing a true spiritual serendipity more often than not. This often happens with my friend Christian. We'll be in conversation on some topic, and it keeps showing up in our lives.
Some people call it a "God wink." A little moment that feels like a lot of coincidence but maybe means more. An unlikely situation that suddenly falls into place. My friend Anneliese has many times experienced this with the unexpected arrival of ladybugs. My friend James once had a stunning story about clam chowder. These are powerful moments where you kind of catch your breath, and remember that the world - and God - is so much bigger than we are. You don't forget them.
For me, that sense of spiritual serendipity helps me feel like I'm on to something. It makes me pause and ask - what next? Where do I put my foot next? It is the opposite of when you find yourself in a situation where you keep thinking "why is this SO hard?" Where no matter how hard you try, nothing is easy. Maybe you need more grit - but maybe you are also on the wrong path and the universe is pointing you in a different direction.
Maybe they are just random. Maybe it is intuition. Maybe it is a tuning fork of friendship when you become close with someone else. They rarely make sense - but they feel more true than anything else has in a long time. It feels HOLY.
Have you experienced this? I want to say it is rare - but maybe we just aren't really paying attention to what is clicking and what is resistant in our lives.
Author and spiritual educator Parker Palmer recounts the story of learning in a Quaker community for a time and hearing the repetition to "have faith and the way will open." Frustrated that this was not happening for him, he inquired of a Quaker woman named Ruth who was known for her candor. Her reply, which strongly affected Palmer, was to say, “Way has never opened in front of me…but a lot of way has closed behind me, and that has had the same guiding effect.”
As we enter into a new year, may you listen for the way - whether it is opening before you or closing behind you. Allow yourself to break patterns of rote and listen to what is before you. Lean in to quiet spaces where you can listen and learn from God. Acknowledge those moments of spiritual serendipity, and allow them to teach you, and guide you on.
God of serendipity and grace, open our eyes to the miracles all around us. Gently remind us to put down our phones and lift our gaze to notice the work you are doing in the world. You speak to us in a million different ways, if only we would listen. Help us to hear you whispering to us in unexpected ways throughout our day, encouraging us and reminding us of your presence. Help us to be that voice of encouragement to others who we encounter on our journey. Thank you for loving us and being with us. Amen. - Kelly Johnson
"There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it." - Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb