Monday, July 27, 2015

Lucking Out

Originally posted as a Facebook note on six years ago today. It's as timely--or timeless--as ever. Slightly edited.

Two people have recommended The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene to me. So I did what seemed logical when two are in agreement about a book: I went ahead and ordered it from Amazon yesterday [sic] and it shipped a few hours after I did so. (I had read the book partially but I had checked the book out of the library. And because I’m usually reading a minimum of two books simultaneously, I didn’t get to read it before I had to take the book back.)

One of my Facebook friends--a proponent of the book--called the following law ‘the most memorable’ for him: “Avoid the unhappy and the unlucky.” Am I intrigued by this caution? You bet. But, at the same time, the admonition seems almost redundant.

As a Christian, I try to stay away from certain words; words that indicate a life ruled by chance; words which imply that that any force has power over the power of God—words like ‘lucky,’ ‘fortunate’ ‘unfortunate,’ even words like ‘coincidence.’ I stay away from those words because they indicate disbelief, doubt and/or non-belief in the identity and character of the God of the Bible.

But thinking about the word unlucky and joining it to the concept of unhappiness, those who are “unlucky” seem to be those who believe that nothing good will happen to them. As a result, usually, nothing does and even when they "luck up" and something good does happen to them, they find some flaw in that good thing and complain about it.

There are those who believe that things will never turn out all right. In other words, there are those who have little to no faith in God and, therefore, such people don’t believe that God loves them, wants them to be happy and has the power to make that happen.

Now I’m not saying that God is going to let even those who consistently have faith in Him have anything and everything that they want, because God knows that not everything that an individual wants is necessarily going to be good for that individual. But those who are “unlucky” can’t even take pleasure in "getting lucky" (if you’ll pardon the expression). No. The "unlucky" will remain under that dark cloud, refuse to be moved and, as a result, the unholy union of unluckiness and unhappiness is joined together.

Further, the "unlucky" often have removed themselves from the Providence of God, either by omission or commission. Rather than being “unlucky” what such people are subject to are the forces of Chaos. They are outside of the Order that God provides which means, as the saying goes, feces will happen to that person. So this leads us back to the law which my friend found so remarkable: if you know an Unhappy-Unlucky person, you want to stay far away from said person because you don’t want feces to happen to you merely because of proximity.

Conversely, those of us who believe in God’s Providence, who believe in the Bible’s promises, who believe in the power of God, are always “lucky,” are always “fortunate” and are, therefore, always happy even in sorrow, because the one thing that we know and are always happy about is that our souls are saved—that everything will come out alright in the end for us. We have our Blessed Assurance in Jesus Christ.

And ultimately, if we have faith, things are going to turn out alright not just in the end but while we are trying to get to the end.

My pastor, learned in the languages of the Bible—ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic--taught us that the word used for ‘power’ in Greek when discussing God’s power is ‘dynamis,’ obviously the origin of the words ‘dynamite’ and ‘dynamic’—the agent and description of radical change. It is the type of change that certain earthly politicians can’t begin to fathom. God can change things; like your “luck”—but only if you ask and believe that it will happen.

(‘Power’ Reference: Strongest Strong's Concordance 1411)

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