Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fortuitous Delight

I wasn’t quite sure what it meant when it first popped into my head while visiting wonderful friends over this past weekend, but it sounded good. It sounded good like a delicious freshly baked cookie straight out of the oven. It sounded soothing like the memory of Grandma’s peach cobbler. It felt like a lovely Fall evening with friends or just someone I’m grateful to spend time with. It reminded me of the enjoyment of receiving real mail and recognizing the handwritten return address and who it was from. 

As a Christian, I believe my entire life is written and He’s in the driver seat. Yet, as a human who lives in this very everydayness-of-life kind of existence, I can’t help but feel that it is by some lucky chance that I’m where I am when I am there, and with the people I’m with, when I’m with them. It’s fate, it’s providential, it’s serendipitous, and it’s completely awesome. 

Some relationships and friendships begin out of the simplicity of making an acquaintance. It’s easier to maintain a connection because you go to the same school, have the same interests, or work in the same office. These are not fortuitous friendships, in my opinion. They’re circumstantial, and while not any more or less important or meaningful they’re just not the same.

In a conversation with my father recently, I noted the call of my heart to love certain people with wild abandon comes not from making acquaintances. That call comes out of the chaos of crisis, and the unexpected and unplanned arrival of a friendship, or a connection, that otherwise possibly would never exist. 

In elementary school some attention in grammar was put on the phrase If this, then that.  The causal relationship between one occurrence and another applies here. 

“If [blank] hadn’t happened, then this - whatever is happening right now - wouldn’t be happening.” That’s essentially what I’m getting at. 
“If I hadn’t taken this job, then I wouldn’t have ever met these people.” 
“If I stayed focused on one goal, then these others wouldn’t have become important and I would not have noticed any of these other opportunities.” 

These friendships and connections are fortuitous. They are occurring by happy chance.

If the friendship is fortuitous, then I delight in it!

There’s something about the word “delight” that brings delight to the word. To me, it sounds like what a sunflower in a field of nothing might look like. It looks like the sun rising after a very dark night. It feels like the warm embrace of loving arms in the middle of the day for no reason. It sounds like infectious laughter and the recognition of joy. 

A friend of mine, who I would not have been friends with if a crises hadn’t occurred, recently told me during a conversation that we would never experience that moment again. 

He was right, and I truly delighted in it. 

God wants us to go above and beyond what is required of us in our jobs, in our relationships, in our friendships, and in the everydayness of our lives. I looked at my dear friend from across the room, and I sent glory above for the gut instinct I had years ago to go above the call of my heart. If I hadn’t, then we wouldn’t have been sitting in that room having that conversation.

So, while the moment may be over, it is with fortuitous delight it ever occurred at all. 

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
after you have suffered a little while, 
will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.

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