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LUCKY or PROVIDENTIAL or?
By Gordon Abernethy in All Sorts
What has luck to do with who we are, or where we are, or what we do, what we believe?LUCKY or PROVIDENTIAL or?
Lately the John Clarke, a.k.a “Fred Dagg’ song, “We don’t Know How Lucky We Are” from last century, has been jangling around in my head. And I wonder why? Who are the ‘WE’? What have ‘WE’ to be lucky for, or about?
What has luck to do with who we are, or where we are, or what we do, what we believe?
What is luck, at any rate? I was lucky for a win in the lottery! I was lucky I missed the bus this morning as it was involved in an accident! You were lucky you didn’t go oversees when you first thought of going! She was lucky to get through the exam, she hasn’t done much swot! He was lucky to be let off with a just a warning for speeding.
What about using another word in place of luck or lucky – fortunate, happy, godsend, karma, fate, providential? Those last two – fate implies that all things which happen were meant to happen, they could not have happened another way. Providential in Christian thinking is that all the affairs and events of human life is one of God’s accomplishing, Godself’s purpose, God directs all the affairs of human life.
Now in all our Christian thinking we are using the only language we have to think in, inadequate as it is - the language of humans. We try to think Godly thoughts, or perhaps how God is ‘thinking’, during discussion, prayer, perhaps when writing Connections. We have our textbooks, the Bible, commentaries, reflections from others, and we have the thoughts of our preachers, and fellow Christians, this is how we learn and to think more widely.
But when we read and hear the stories from the Hebrew Bible – the “Old Testament”, where God is central to all that happens, and of course God is central, and we must remember it has been written or told by humans, by people, God’s people. The same applies to the New Testament. In Biblical times, we read, that much was attributed to God’s benevolence, or, to God’s fury. Not so much in today’s world, yet what we have seen and read of some happenings connected to the U.S. of A’s Presidential elections has us baffled and wondering if God is present anymore? Or if only a select few have the knowledge?
Is God guiding the rampages where people attack and terrorise their fellow beings, or storm the places of Governance, trash shop fronts, set fire to public buildings? Is God telling people to shout obscene language at public figures, threaten to kill, is God taking sides in these atrocious happenings?
And elsewhere in the world – “God’s World” – who controls the earthquakes, the volcanic eruptions, the floods, the tidal waves? Is it our bad luck, fate, that we or someone close to us is involved? And, of course what about Corvid 19?
We can, of course, attribute much of the calamities, disturbances, atrocities, even so-called accidents, to our fellow human beings. And when someone goes mad and shoots or attacks another there are circumstances in that person’s life or in the nation’s culture that can take the rap.
We are all responsible – we were created responsible even if we may have been conceived by mistake. God, whom we believe, God, who created, continues to create, continues to inspire us to create and care for this creation – not to destroy – to care for those who have difficulty caring for themselves, to champion justice and mercy, to keep a good house – a clean earth, and have hope for the future. We each have been created with the freedom to choose our direction. It is through faith in our God in whom we all must work out our own life’s salvation, perhaps with some fear and trembling, but in hope.
Here is a story – a wise story. There was a young person who felt they must challenge the wisest person available that they knew of. So that young, smart person went to the one thought of to be clever and knowledgeable and said, “Wise one, I am holding a bird in my hand. Is it alive or dead?” The ‘wise one’ immediately saw that if they replied dead, the young person would immediately open their hand and the bird would fly away. If the ‘wise one’ replied that the bird was alive, the young person could crush it and it would be dead. So the ‘wise one’ replied, “Young one, the answer is in your hand.”