3rd January 2018

‘Events, Dear Boy, Events’

“I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong, and neither is bread to the wise nor riches to those of intelligence and understanding nor favour to men of ability; but time and chance overtake them all.”
Ecclesiastes 9:11 (AMP)

Our headline title is attributed to British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, when he was asked what the most difficult thing about his job was: ‘Events, dear boy, events’ he replied. I was reminded of it when I received a brief email from a friend. It read: ‘I haven’t forgotten to phone but overtaken by events.’

Events do overtake us and often at the most inappropriate times or places. I can clearly remember a day when we were driving away from our village and had just entered a long blind bend that curved round to the right. Suddenly a young man in a battered blue car appeared on our side of the road, overtaking two other cars. Now that’s what you call inappropriate overtaking; we just managed to miss him, and he roared off down the road. “One second earlier,” said my husband. “Not even two,” I asked? “No, just one,” he replied. How easy to lose or gain a second. Had we got out of bed one second earlier, eaten breakfast one second faster, left the house one second earlier or driven just a little faster, then an event caused by an overtaker not under our control would have overtaken us, and who knows what the outcome would have been.

Returning to the present, it’s a New Year and what will it bring? I know a lot of people just go to bed on New Year’s Eve, knowing that the next year will arrive whether it is seen in or not, while others enthusiastically celebrate its coming with optimism, looking forward to a better time ahead. But the next 365 days may not live up to everyone’s expectations and hopes. One of the Peanuts cartoons starts with Charlie Brown saying ‘Good Luck’. The second frame shows Linus replying: ‘Charlie Brown, “Good Luck” is not theologically sound.’ Not everything may seem to go well; we may in the wrong place at the wrong time—a second too soon, or a second too late. Not everything is predictable. But we do know what is theologically sound: that for those who love God all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). We can’t lose, whatever happens.

Loving Father, enable us to place our trust and faith in you, as you lead us lovingly through this year, whatever it brings.

Study by Hilary Buck


About the Author:
Hilary Buck pastors Grace Communion in Lewes.
Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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