The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “luck.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!
Before I start streaming my consciousness at you (or perhaps AS I start?), I want to preface it by saying this is by no means a constructed treatise on my theological or philosophical stances on ANYTHING. For one thing, I’m starting to find a lot of inherent danger of “stances” of all stripes, and even if I do feel “certain” about something one minute, I want to make sure you know I reserve the right to feel equally uncertain the next minute.
For me, “luck” falls into a bucket of words I find generally unhelpful, like “blessed”, “fated”, “chance”, “good fortune” and the like. They are all words that remove most, if not all, sense of self-determination and/or the fact that sometimes things just “happen”, both good and bad.
For example, after pulling up Linda’s prompt for today and seeing the word I had to work with, I decided to make my coffee and let the work percolate a bit before starting (see what I did there? Coffee… Percolate…). I don’t, however, percolate my coffee but instead enjoy the ever-wasteful yet my oh so convenient Keurig (in my defense, I was the only one in the house drinking coffee for YEARS, and it was (perhaps?) equally wasteful to make an entire pot of coffee of which I only drank one cup).
Anywho – I decided to make my coffee…
We had a power outage yesterday, so the clock was wrong on the Keurig and it had not turned on at 6 AM to begin heating the water. When I turned it on, it just started pumping.
Oh, man. I just wanted coffee before writing, and now I have to figure out what’s wrong with my Keurig. Bad luck, right?
A judgment from God?
A sign that I should give up caffeine?
A sign that I shouldn’t write this morning?
Or, how about this…
Sometimes, shit happens.
I am coming to believe it is generally unhealthy (for me) to assign much (if any) deeper meaning or personal messaging to things that “happen” (side note: “happen” is derived from “hap” which is another word for “luck”).
I grew up in a church culture where you made your own “luck” and derived God’s “blessings” by making sure you were in God’s favor. How do you know if you are in God’s favor? Well, you’re “blessed” (in my childhood religious world, that means health and wealth – full stop). Not being blessed? Not experiencing “good luck”? Well, you’re clearly not in God’s favor. Sick? Poor? God’s hand has been taken off of you.
I’m not even sure where that theology/doctrine came from. Have you read the Bible? A quick trip through the lives and deaths of Jesus’ disciples debunks that. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE TWELVE except for perhaps John died a martyr’s death. Paul had a mystery illness (a “thorn in his flesh”) that God did not heal or remove despite Paul’s repeated pleadings.
“Well, Ben, that’s different. They were being persecuted for their faith”.
Convenient how one can apply and then “unapply” the doctrine of “blessing” as it suits them.
Perhaps when Paul was being beaten and imprisoned (multiple times, multiple places), he should have taken it as a “sign” that God’s hand of blessing was not on him? That he was doing it wrong? No, OF COURSE what it meant was that he was doing something RIGHT and Satan and his minions were simply working to thwart it.
And Christians do this today. I’m a bit over it, to be honest.
That’s not to say that I’ve turned deist and believe that God created the universe and then sat back to watch it spin (the “clockwork universe” theory). Side note – America’s “Christian” founders largely ascribed to this view of God – hence our strong sense of self-determinism. But that’s another post for another day…
I do think God interjects Themselves (see what I did there? Another post for another time…) into our world and into our lives. I know that. I believe that. I have experienced that in my Deepest Knowing.
Do I understand it?
Do I ascribe those moments when God does interject God’s Self into My World to “luck” or “blessing” (or “bad luck” or a “sign of God’s will for my life”)?
Yeah, I know. I’m not being very clear.
Sometimes, life isn’t clear.
Sometimes, life is hard.
Sometimes, life is grand.
But luck ain’t got a thing to do with it.