New King James Version
I returned and saw under the sun that—
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.
I don’t know how chance works in a world that includes an all-powerful and all-knowing God, but the Bible does acknowledge the reality of chance and, honestly, that makes me a little nervous.
Years ago Microsoft include a little popup office assistant named Rocky which would give you advice on how to operate their software. Rocky had a regular warning that came up on my screen that said, “Things that go away by themselves can come back by themselves.”
I’m still not sure what that means, but I know it sure makes me nervous.
I don’t like things just appearing and disappearing by themselves.
Something I’ve learned about all of us–even the most laid back, spontaneous, and go-with-the-flow among us–we’re all control freaks when things don’t go the way we really wanted them to go.
But no matter how hard we try…
Another way of saying this is “Chance happens.”
I have no doubt that ultimately God is in control and that when all is said and done, His will shall be done. But Jesus still instructed us to pray that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
God is aware of every sparrow in existence right now (Matt. 10:29) but they still fall to the ground and He doesn’t stop it.
God is even aware of how many hairs you have (Matt. 10:30), but speaking from personal experience, that number changes (!) and God doesn’t stop it.
In other words, chance happens!
Turns out that God created this world with laws and boundaries and then threw in humans beings with free will (currently eight billion or so) each making decisions and choices without consulting each other. All that is a recipe for chance.
The question is, what to do about it?
Maybe the best approach is to focus on what NOT to do.
I’d suggest that the thing to not do is to look for someone to blame. Really, what good does that do?
Like I heard one man say, “Sometime it’s not the devil when you have a flat tire…it was just a nail that fell off a truck and landed where you happened to drive.”
And remember this, when Charlie Chance shows up and rains on you plans, you always have a choice – you can try to go away from your problems or you can determine to grow through your problems.
The ONE THING for today: Chance happens. Are you going to cave in and go from your challenges or are you going keep moving forward and grow through your challenges?
I’ll close with a quote from champion tennis player Arthur Ashe who died of AIDS due to a blood transfusion: “If I ask ‘Why me?’ about my troubles, then I must ask “Why me?” about my blessings.”