I sat in the grass on a warm spring day among the three acres our home sat on…maybe I was 9? I sifted through the blades of grass and white flowers on the clover searching for one with four leaves. Those are the lucky ones, and I can’t remember now but apparently I was in need of some luck. I knew these four leaf cloves existed, my parents had one pressed in their Bible they got when they got married – the lucky clover was given to them when my father had completed building their first home.
More than 20 years ago I worked at a retail establishment while still in school, designing kitchens. A new employee was hired in the furniture department; I would guess looking back in his late 40’s at the time. This man shut down luck every chance he got. Any time someone said the work luck or lucky, he was quick to point out that there is no such thing as luck and they were blessed. Hum, it made me think…it also made me think the man was completely insane…but it made me think.
I’ve often thought about that and him and about how he wasn’t willing to depart from his faith for anyone or any reason. And although it took me many years to exactly figure out what this man was talking about, I get it, now more than ever, I get it. Webster defines luck as :the things that happen to a person because of chance : the accidental way things happen without being planned: good fortune : good luck: success in doing or getting something. It describes blessed as: 1a : held in reverence : venerated <the blessed saints>b : honored in worship : hallowed <the blessed Trinity>c : beatific <a blessed visitation> 2: of or enjoying happiness; specifically : enjoying the bliss of heaven —used as a title for a beatified person 3: bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune. So as a Christian, I have to ask, which makes more sense to you? Luck as something that happens by chance? Success in doing or getting something? The accidental way things happen without being planned? Or is it bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune? I have an issue most specifically with the part of the luck definition that states: success in doing or getting something as well as the not planned part, most especially when it comes to success.
Is that really it? Our success is luck? Seriously? Doesn’t that just squash you down and make you think, then why try? A wise woman has told me on more than one occasion, “God will bless your efforts.”. I believe this wholeheartedly. If we believe that luck is behind our success, whether it be in business, family or relationships, then that basically takes us out of the equation correct? We might as well just sit around waiting to see what happens. Well when we do that, what have we givevn God to bless? He’s already given us life, so now we are just supposed to sit around and be content and say, “well, He must have given them the better one.”? Heck to the no, as my kids would say! He gave us life, He gave us all the same amount of time in a day, He gave us all His spirit, and He gave us free will so that we can make things happen, and when we make things happen to glorify Him? Look out baby, we are going places! He has also given us all challenges, all things we must over come, all things we need to look to Him to help us with, He gave us all a cross to carry – are we going to hang on it or are we going to chop it up and use it for fire wood to heat our home, cook for our family, and bring others to Him?
Don’t get me wrong, there have been so many times when I have felt un-lucky. The ‘how did this happen to me?” sets in and can sometimes be paralyzing. But now that I have ‘it’ and understand ‘it’ I have His power over it. Not for one minute do I think my husband is ‘lucky’ to be where he is in his career. His success is more than we could have ever imagined it would be – so is he lucky? Some may say…but to me he is blessed. Because as a man with his GED, and no college education, I have watched him tirelessly work for the past 20 years. He has never taken the easy road, I have never heard him say he couldn’t or wouldn’t do something. He has taken projects and continues to take on projects that are way out of his comfort zone, and persistently works to complete them. Sometimes days and nights on end. There have been stretches where he hasn’t come home for days and goes without food and sleep way longer then he should, but stays until he completes what he’s working on. Is that luck? As I have watched it unfold I can say it is not luck, but dedicated hard work that God turns around and blesses. He has a vision for our life and works diligently towards his goals.
Is it luck that we have amazing, courageous, kind hearted, peaceful, loving, generous children? Or is it that we have tirelessly spent hours with them, encouraging them, praying with and for them, leading them by example, so that God can turn around and bless them and us? Do I have an amazing blessed marriage because I am waiting for my husband to make me happy or do something for me? Do we sit around and force the other to do things our way? Or have we purposely, with great intention worked to bless the other and work on growing together in Christ? Do we often fall short? Oh absolutely! But when we recognize our blessings, how we got them, who they come from and where they are leading us, then we can then be grateful, and gratitude is what leads us to worship and ultimately more blessings.
I have before struggled with the reverse of this, things that ultimately feel as though we have no control over, illness, natural disasters, accidents that take our loved ones too soon. What does anyone do to deserve that? Where is the blessing in these things and have we done or not done something to be deserving of such tragic circumstances? Well for one John 16:33 states “You will have suffering in this world” not you might, but you will. And I have experienced enough tragedy in my life to know that there is always a blessing that comes in the midst of a tragedy. Sometimes it takes 20 years, 45 years or 2 minutes. It’s the person who uses tragedy to pull themselves and others closer to God that are the ones who are ultimately the most blessed. “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
So on this day the Irish, (which I am not and the only thing I will eat today that is green will be salad) say is lucky, I wish you abundant blessings, huge vision and well planned work that leads you to more blessings then you could ever image.