Interrupted Luck

Tom Brokaw, the former NBC Nightly News anchor, is quite emotional about the fact that he is in remission from what was thought to be incurable cancer, as reported in Parade Magazine. When someone has a successful career, and then hears the “C” word, it often causes one to reflect on the past, as did Tom. Tom credits his wife, Meredith, of 52 years as a key element of his “lucky life”. Tom was quoted as saying “I believe you make your own luck”. He also admitted that he gets in way over his head at times, but then just thinks he will work his way out of it somehow. Tom went on to write his memoir in a book titled “A Lucky Life Interrupted”, published by Random House.

So the question must be asked if life really succumbs to the Law of Chance. Let’s examine what chance really gives us. Suppose you take ten pennies and mark them one to ten and put them in your pocket. You then attempt to pull the pennies out in ascending order, putting the penny back in your pocket after each draw. Your chance of pulling penny number 1 on the first draw is 1 in 10. Your chance of drawing 1 and 2 in succession would be 1 in 100. Your chance of drawing 1, 2, 3 in succession would be 1 in 1,000. You can see that drawing 1 thru 10 in succession would be an unbelievable figure. The point to be made is that the Law of Chance eventually works against you. Ask anyone who spends much time in Vegas.

King Solomon, written about in the Bible, says that time and chance will overtake a person regardless of their wisdom, capability, wealth, or physical stature. Solomon is also telling us that chance is a losing proposition.

The Bible has several examples where God accomplishes His plan by what might appear as coincidence. In some cases an angel directs a person to do something and the people don’t know it was an angel. It is like a person who helps at the scene of a traffic accident but when help arrives they are not to be found. In other cases, there might be an earthquake or flood that causes certain people paths to cross.

I often think of a young man who was driving home from work very tired one day. While stopped at a red light, he got the thought that maybe he should get the battery replaced in his watch. He balanced this idea with the fact that he was also hungry and wanted to get home soon. He made the decision to stop at a nearby jewelry store which is where he met his wife-to-be. While some would argue it is just chance, God always seems to get His plan done. The young man thinks so.

The Bible tells us that a lot can be cast, but that it’s every decision is from the Lord. The Lord is intimately involved in His creation, even to the point of numbering the very hairs on our head. He is not only capable, but good. Are you trusting in chance or the Lord?