Tag Archives: Prof. Richard Wiseman

Looking For Lost Donkeys

Story of the Day for Monday September 5, 2011

Looking For Lost Donkeys

                    Kish told his son, Saul, “. . . Go and look for the donkeys.”

                                                                             1 Samuel 9:3

“Serendipity” is considered one of the ten most difficult words to translate from English into another language. The word was coined by Horace Walpole in the 18th century.  He recounts the ancient legends of the princes from Serendip (modern Sri Lanka) who continually make fortunate discoveries they were not looking for.


That is what happened to Kish’s son, Saul. He went out looking for three of his dad’s lost donkeys, and he came home as the anointed king of Israel.

Saul, and his servant, could not find the lost donkeys. The servant persuaded Saul to ask the prophet Samuel which way they should go to find the donkeys.  The prophet just happened to be in town that very day.  He reassured them the donkeys were okay, but before Saul left, Samuel anointed Saul to be the first king among the people of Israel.


Do you get edgy when God refuses to follow your agenda?  You plan your life one way, and he scraps your schedule and plans and works things differently. There is a spiritual danger in being overly rigid in our plans and expectations. Our expectations can blind us to the wonders God has planned for us.

Prof. Richard Wiseman gathered 400 volunteers who admitted they were exceptionally fortunate in life, or extremely unlucky.  He gave each participant a newspaper and asked them to count the number of photographs in it.  The “unlucky” group averaged two minutes. The fortunate group averaged a few seconds.  Why? Because, on the second page, in large print, was the message, “Stop counting – there are 43 photographs in this newspaper.”

The study demonstrates that “unlucky” people become so focused on their agenda that they develop tunnel vision. The harder they look, the less they see or experience.


Check out the stories in the Bible. How many times does the Lord do significant things in people’s lives because they planned it that way?  Not often.


When the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, was nine, he walked through a snowy field with his uncle John.

When they reached the far end of the field, they looked back. Frank’s uncle proudly pointed to his tracks – which formed a straight line across the snow.  Frank’s, on the other hand, meandered all over as he examined bronze pod-topped weeds or the play of shadow on a hillside.

Uncle John pointed to the difference in their tracks as an object lesson in focus.

Later in life, Frank Lloyd Wright reflected, “I determined right then,” he said, with a twinkle in his eye, “not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had.”

If you’re looking for lost donkeys, be open for anything. God is at work.

                                         (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)