“Happy St. Paddy’s Day!”
“I’m lucky to know you!” “Good luck and good cheer!” “I’m looking over a lucky four-leaf clover!” “Love, luck, and laughter on St. Patrick’s Day!” “You’ve got the luck of the leprechauns!” “May the luck of the Irish be yours today!” “Wishing you Irish luck!”
These are only a few of the sayings you may hear on and around St. Patrick’s Day. There are many more, some of which are quite colorful!
Have you noticed how much “luck” is a part of St. Patrick’s Day? I wonder why? While St. Patrick was a real person, there is nothing I have read that suggests that he taught about luck.
And then, consider this, people’s adherence to luck runs the gamut from those believing everything in life hinges on luck, to those believing that nothing depends on luck! Do you live by luck? Do you depend on your own efforts? Do you live in some combination?
I was in that second group. I used to believe I “made my own luck.” By that I mean my effort, my ability, my talent, and my intelligence, all working together were the determining factors of how successful, or of how unsuccessful, my life would be. There was no dependence on “dumb luck,” or chance, or fate. Other people might have some influence on my life, but ultimately, my life’s achievements depended on me.
However, since becoming follower of Christ, I have an entirely new perspective!
I now know God is sovereign. I know He allows choice in decisions I make, even though He already knows what the outcomes of those decisions will be. I know He wants obedience from me. I know He has a totally clear view of my past, present and future. He knows that for everyone in the world, and He knows how each of us interacted, interacts, and will interact, with others around us.
We are not puppets, nor are we masters of our own fates! How does that work? I can’t explain it. My finite, limited mind cannot comprehend, cannot understand, cannot come completely to terms with the plan an infinite, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-encompassing, all-good, all-loving, all-righteous God, put together! God is beyond my human capability of understanding!
So, how do I live my life as a Christ-follower? I prayerfully, attentively, intentionally look for God working around me. (God is always at work, but quite often, I do not notice.) As I notice what He is doing, I seek the Holy Spirit’s influence and guidance. Then I discover the next steps of obedience He is asking of me. Sometimes God gives total clarity of the next step and its conclusion. But often He gives only enough clarity for me to know I must take this one step, whether I know what comes next or not.
The step may be to join Him in the work He is doing. It may be to stay away from the work He is doing. Those times I join Him are usually times He is making me more like Jesus. Those times He wants me to stay away are often times He shows me that He does not need me to accomplish what He is doing, and that He is using those times to grow others.
Luck? Self-effort? Both appeal to our human nature. But God wants to give us so much more! I have peace in my life. I have assurance of who knows best for me. I have confidence in His plans for my future. All of which come because of who God is!