Rich Dixon helps us think a bit about timing.


A few weeks ago, we cranked 40 miles from Lake Itasca to Bemidji to begin our 1500-mile Mississippi River journey.

We paused for a flashback to the 2-block ride that started my handcycling adventure. Now it’s time to head back to Bemidji and the encounter that taught us about God-inspired serendipity.

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At the shore of Lake Bemidji, we munched sandwiches and wondered how to celebrate Day 1. A woman approached and introduced herself as president of the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. Becky explained our mission and a reporter appeared.

Our local TV appearance was picked up and led to other opportunities downstream. And that reporter guided us to our Day 2 ride on the glorious Paul Bunyan Trail.

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In my mind, this episode was a gift, an incident of God-inspired serendipity. “Serendipity” implies a happy accident, but I don’t believe this unplanned connection was an accident at all.

I believe God played a role in this encounter, but I also believe He doesn’t slide us around like pawns on a chessboard. I don’t know how that works. Mystery doesn’t mean I know nothing; it means I don’t know everything. I’m okay with that.

A pastor friend used to gaze intently around a room and almost whisper, “Nobody’s here by accident.” When you realize you’re surrounded by people who arrived from unique backgrounds through an endless series of independent choices, and yet somehow your gathering’s not accidental, “Nobody’s here by accident” raises questions to which we won’t find answers on this side of eternity.

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See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

A lesson we learned (and relearned):

Step out in faith. Hold plans loosely. Always be aware, because God’s ideas often look like detours or interruptions. And remember: It’s not about me!

To be continued…