Random Dumb Luck

February 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm 2 comments

Kate, over at Shapely Prose has re-posted a great piece about the dumb luck involved in finding love, in honour of the day.

I think random dumb luck doesn’t get enough credit, frankly.

I hear people asking “why did God do this terrible thing/let this terrible thing happen to me” and I don’t know how to answer.
I hear people saying “Thank God for this amazing thing that happened to me” and I don’t know what to say.
I especially cringe over “there but for the Grace of God go I”.

I know that my Church is all about giving thanks, and I’m on board with that.  (I find the universe to be a pretty amazing place, where some pretty amazing things have potential to happen pretty often, without having to credit some micromanaging deity for orchestrating every individual moment of joy, or hope, or peace.)  But “there but for the Grace of God” reeks with the suggestion that God loves me enough to spare me from whatever nasty crap someone else is dealing with. Too bad God didn’t have enough Grace left over for them.  And holy CRAP is that ever messed up.

Random Dumb Luck.  And free will.  We all have free will, and make choices, and sometimes your choices are going to fuck things up for me.  And sometimes my choices are going to fuck things up for you.  Which is why, in my never-too-humble opinion, its pretty important for us to think about each other a little bit when we’re making our choices.

But mostly RDL.  Somebody chose to pollute the air, and some random person is gonna get cancer.  Somebody chose to leave the mall and go someplace else instead, and some random person is gonna get an ace parking space.  Human bodies are frail: we are dust, and to dust we shall return.  And how that happens (and it is gonna happen) is largely a matter of random dumb luck.  And random dumb luck doesn’t answer to self-control, or constant fretting, or even prayer.

 What I do with the random dumb luck that comes into my life is where the faith rubber hits the random dumb lucky road, I think (or at least, I think today).  How I respond to random dumb luck- both good and bad- should rightly be connected to how I understand Scripture, and prayer, and my place in the community with whom I share this little planet.  As should my response to anyone who, through random dumb luck, or as the result of their own choices, because it really shouldn’t matter which, may be in need of something I have to share.

So here’s my challenge to myself: shut up that incessantly egotistic little portion of my brain that honestly believes that I am indeed the point around which all of the universe rotates, give random dumb luck a little more credit, and move on to the only question that really matters: so if that’s how it is, now what am I gonna do about it?

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

40 days Not Necessarily Free

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Luck Probability and God « Fatistician  |  February 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    […] info By shinobi42 Categories: Uncategorized Over at Ad Imaginem Dei there is a response to Kate’s Valentine’s Day repost.  And interestingly the writer […]

  • 2. Lynn  |  February 15, 2008 at 3:12 am

    Ecclesiastes 9:11 says it well:
    I have seen something else under the sun:
    The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
    nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
    but time and chance happen to them all.

    *whimper* – yup.

    And you’re very right about our human tendency to see the world rotating around us… blessings!

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