Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 30, 2011

Chance

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Travelling recently, we stopped at a fast food restaurant during the afternoon for a break.  As we approached the door, a family was leaving the restaurant.  They were  travelling south and we were travelling north.  They had also stopped for a break.  That might not sound unusual, but this family was from our church.  She is the church pianist.  Hours away from home  . . . travelling in opposite directions . . . stopping at the same restaurant . . . at the same time . . .  what are the chances of that happening?

Similar things have happened to almost everyone.  But how does such happen?  Is there some explanation?  There is really no explanation if you use the word chance!  In philosophy, chance means that various causes produce an outcome that is not necessary, planned, arranged, or pre-determine.  Chance would say we had not pre-arranged to meet in that town, but that  the cause for stopping was we were all hungry or wanted a break from the travel . . . and it just happened!  I buy that explanation!  So I guess it is just luck!  Is that the same as chance?  Where am I going with this?   I am not a philosopher . . . nor charged with explaining everything.  But I am sharing some thoughts about it!

Luck seems to be a word that we use for random chance.  Whether the word chance or luck, we are referring to something that happened that we cannot predict or explain.  It seems this is the only explanation for meeting that family.  But on the other hand I don’t want to elevate chance to a level undeserved.

I have been offended by some who give chance credit when persons have been responsible.  Jane Austen once said that happy marriages are entirely the result of chance.  How wrong she is!  Happy marriages are not just luck!  They are the result of genuine love expressed between a husband and wife with God being the source of that love. The married couple are responsible — not chance.  There are philosophers who say people are taking a chance when they put their hope in the Gospel.  Wrong again!  There is no chance with God!  It is not taking a chance when one responds to the Gospel.  There is a vast difference between chance and faith.

Most people do not live life on chance.  Most people will strive and work for some outcome. Even if one is not absolutely sure, that person still orders their life on probability.  Probability is believing something will happen.  I believe my marriage will be happy!  I believe that I will accomplish a certain goal!  I believe that my hard work will get me a promotion!  Don’t live life on chance!

But still I cannot  explain chance.  There just might be something a little deeper that mere chance.  For example, 50 years ago I helped my parents move to Florida.  At the end of the week, I went with them to church.  We knew of no church in the area.  There were several within close distance.  We picked one . . . either from the yellow pages or that we had just passed by it during the week.

As I walked into this church on that Sunday morning, I saw the young lady that I knew I would marry.  And I did!  Was it simply chance that we selected that church?  Some would say so.  But I believe there was something else, or Someone, involved.  Without doubt, God brought Judy and I together.  If I had gone to another church, would I have ever met her?  It is easy for one to say, “By chance, I happen to meet her . . . .”

But it was not chance . . . not in this incident.  It was the working of God.  I cannot explain it . . . but I will not credit chance!  Philosophers say chance is where an outcome is produced that is not pre-arranged.  Well, Mr. Philosopher, explain my meeting Judy!  Of course, it cannot be explained . . . but I know it was God!

I have brought you down a road that I cannot explain.  I may even have you a little confused . . . but be sure of one thing —  God  is in charge!  There is no chance with Him.  And there may be times in your life when it seemed chance produced an outcome, when in reality it was God!

Lawson

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