[Jesus said,] "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field" (Matthew 13:44 NLT).
There is an old story handed down from the country of Serendip — or present day Sri Lanka. In this story, three princes traveled the country, and quite by accident discover amazing and unexpected things. So in 1754 after discovering these stories, Horace Walpole coined the word "serendipity." The word basically means the delightful "finding what you're not looking for."*
As I thought about this understanding of the word, I thought of how much of our Christian life is a serendipity. How many things do we find unexpectedly which turn out to amaze us. I think that is why we sing songs like, "Amazing Grace," or "I stand amazed in the presence" or "Oh what wondrous love."
Our journey through life with Christ, the creator and sustainer of the universe is amazing, especially when you consider his sacrifice for and his fellowship with us. I can hardly read any section of the scripture that I don't find some new understanding, run across some tidbit that I've somehow over looked in the past or suddenly awaken to a new insight. Christianity is never boring, it is always amazing, always a serendipity.
This has always been the effect that Jesus has had upon people. People were amazed at his teachings and the authority he exhibited (Matthew 7:28). Even Jesus' disciples who were around him all the time were amazed at his teaching and actions (Mark 10:24). Jesus revealed hidden treasures unexpectedly then just as he does now.
The question for us is this: what are we going to do with the treasure and how will we deal with the serendipities of life we have in Christ? Well the scripture doesn't leave us hanging on that on that point, but gives us some instructions concerning how to deal with these unexpected treasures.
Jesus put it this way:
"Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be" (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT).
* From the book Horse-Feathers, by Charles Funk).