Is the universe conspiring against you?

bad_week

They say that bad things happen in threes.

Like, when three well loved celebrities all die in the same week.

Or when your car breaks down, you lose your house keys, and your dog chews up your remote control.

Threes? I have no idea if that’s true.  I think it’s more likely that people tend to just group things into threes and call it a lousy week.

But what I want to talk about today are those rare and potent times in life when bad things seem to happen in sevens.  Or dozens.

Or too many to count.

Ever gone through a time like that?  When disaster lurks around every corner.  When failure appears to be the only option. When you’re no longer surprised by your own bad luck.

In other words:  A seriously, colossally messed up week.

Those are no fun.  I’ve had a few myself.  But is this really an issue of occasional bad luck?

What if the universe has conspired against you?

Maybe it’s karma for your past actions. Maybe you won (lost) some cosmic lottery.

Maybe God is mad at you and has directed all the forces of nature against you.

There are some places out there (even in the Bible) that could lead you to think that maybe God IS out to get you.  Those are typically stories in the Bible told to illustrate a different point.  Trust me, the overall message of the Bible is very different from that notion.

For instance, take a look at Luke 21:5-19.  You can click here to read it yourself.

In this passage, Jesus describes all manner of terrible calamities that may befall disciples:  False prophets, war, earthquakes, plagues, famine, being arrested, family turning against you, and even the possibility of death!

(How’s that for a seriously, colossally messed up week?)

But Jesus concludes this list by simply saying, “if you have endurance, you’ll get through it all okay”.  In other words, if you keep your faith, even when awfulness comes upon you, you’ll be okay, because you’ll still have God.

Or rather, God will still have you.

Hmm.  That seems to rule out God being the cause of your lousy week, doesn’t it?

If anything, God is your escort through the tough times.

That should make you feel a little better, although when you’re in the thick of it all, it may still be hard to appreciate.

Just hold to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and you’ll get through it eventually.

See?

Good things happen in threes, too.

Mitch

faith

I’d give this devotion a 4.

Cootie_catcher

Come in!

Have a seat.

Allow me to predict your future for you.

You have two options:

BEST CASE SCENARIO: What’s next for you will be AWESOME and lead you to a lot of happiness in your future. Congrats! OR…

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Whatever is next for you will be AWFUL and lead to a lot of struggle in your future. Sorry!

That’s about the extent of my ability as a fortune teller. See, I’m one of those “either/or” types. When I think about life, it tends to be in either/or terms. Black or white. Good or Bad. Thumbs up or Thumbs down.

Anybody else do this?

Well, I know you’re out there. Here’s a great example:

Nowadays, if you watch a video on Youtube, you can give it a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down”.

Do you know why?

Up until 2009, Youtube videos used to be rated on a 1-5 scale. But time and again, this is what happened:

A few people would give the video a “1” — as in terrible.

A whole bunch of people would give the video a “5” — as in awesome.

And pretty much NOBODY rated a video a 2, 3, or 4.

Those middle-of-the-road numbers were all but useless. In terms of liking or not liking something, this anecdote would at least suggest that people seem to be pretty dual-minded about it.

Now, does this translate into how people approach their own lives? I don’t really know, but it makes sense to me.

I think there are people for whom gray is a very uncomfortable color. Life seems so uncertain these days. With black or white, you know where you stand and you know what your options are.

1’s and 5’s are easy to discern — it’s those subtler shades in the middle that take real work.

I, for one, believe it’s valuable work, even if I’m not particularly good at it yet.

We must face the possibility that, whatever’s next for you and I may be….just okay. Or maybe there will be good parts and difficult parts. Or maybe it will be really hard at the time, but looking back, we’ll be so glad for all we learned. Or…

Whew. Giving up either/or thinking adds so many dimensions to life. But it may allow us to live more fully and more deeply.

Life is more than a best or worst case scenario. In fact, life is so much more than a “scenario” — It’s a rich and unfolding journey, and the more we accept the nuances, the more we can enjoy the ride.

But if it’s hard for you to let go of the lingo, hold tight to this:

Faith makes any next thing in your life…

A Blessed Case Scenario.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

godward