Where does luck come in?

Does God have everything figured out, or does luck come into the picture, too? When I hesitated for a second before crossing the road and that little pause meant the difference between crossing safely and being hit by a passing motorbike, was that luck or God?

It can only be one or the other, right? If God wasn’t involved, then it was luck that saved me. But if life is “as luck would have it,” then it’s horribly unfair because “some people get all the luck” while others “luck out.” If, however, as some believe, our universe happened as a freak of circumstance and life just evolved haphazardly from that point on, then that’s the life we’re stuck with. We’re ruled by Lady Luck, and you’re either in luck or out of it. You’re in luck, for instance, if you’re born to a good family and you have good health, a good job, good marriage and good kids. Most people on this planet, however, aren’t so lucky. They suffer horribly. “Luck isn’t on their side,” but too bad, old chap, too bad.

And that’s the world of evolutionists and atheists – a purposeless existence ruled by accident and chance. They highly disapprove, however, of life being ruled by supernatural forces instead. Bring God into the picture and now we’re ruled by fate, they say, meaning our lives are predetermined, measured and judged, and any straying from a strict code of behaviour results in punishment and eternal damnation. And for atheists that’s a far worse picture than life ruled by luck. I heartily agree. Life ruled by false religion is a fear-driven tragedy. But luck isn’t exactly appealing either – especially for the unlucky. So, fate or luck, it’s hardly a pretty picture, but are they the only two alternatives?

No. Neither fate nor luck rules us. Our lives aren’t predetermined, but nor are they accidental. There’s purpose to human life, that God created us to revel in, but he doesn’t force anyone to comply with it. He enables our participation, but doesn’t threaten us into participating. I can exploit to the full what God has provided, or totally ignore it. God never removes freedom of choice. He lets us be ruled by Lady Luck, if we so wish.

But for those who seek greater meaning in life than just circumstance ruling them, there’s John 3:35: everything has been placed in the hands of Jesus Christ, who lives to enable us to experience what he’s experiencing.

So where does luck come in? We’ve already got all the luck we could wish for – in a God who wants to share all that he is and has with us.