Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On Accidental Sagacity

Alan Jacobs writes on Serendipity in Books & Culture. Here's the conclusion:
The cultivation of serendipity, of this alchemy, is an option for anyone, but—so I wish to argue—for Christians living in conditions of prosperity and security and informational richness it is something vital, perhaps even necessary. To practice "accidental sagacity" is to recognize that I don't really know where I am going, even if I like to think I do; that if I know what I am looking for I probably don't know what I need; that I am not master of my destiny and captain of my fate; that it is a very good thing that I am not master of my destiny and captain of my fate; that the more often I succumb to the temptation to say "I am my own" the more completely I close off the possibility of a blessing that comes from beyond my own desires and self-love. The cultivation of serendipity is at once a self-abnegation, a disciplining of technological power, a form of trust in God, and an expression of solidarity with the vast multitudes of Christians from all generations whose poverty and powerlessness made it impossible for them to think even for a moment that they could control their own lives. An accidental sagacity is the form of wisdom I most need, but am least likely to find.