19 Feb 2006

Coincidences?

Submitted by theshovel
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I believe in coincidences. Yes, I do. Oh, I still believe that God is in control. I also believe that he works all things together for our good. So when I say I believe in coincidences, I'm not suggesting that the incidences God has been connecting together are somehow accidental. What I'm saying is that oftentimes what you and I perceive as connected according to the divine plan for our lives merely reveals a wishful outworking of our own plans. Ouch!

Just because certain events seem to be tied together does not make them so. Sometimes, and possibly most of the time, the little details you and I perceive as fitting together according to God's plan only appear so because of the screen by which we view our world. The coinciding of events that may belong to another plan--other than the one we imagine they must belong to, that is--are simply that: coincidences.

Now I realize that some may take offense to my view of coincidences. So, why take the time to express such thoughts that may be viewed as detrimental? Because too often we become bound by the need to validate ourselves according to what appears to be, rather than according to Christ alone. Too easily we become trapped, constantly seeking the verification that God is working in our lives, rather than simply living as those alive in Christ. We are indeed strangers and aliens in a world that examines and reexamines every minute detail of every event, forward and backward, in the vain attempt to make life make sense in hopes that one will know how to live. We don't need no stinkin' validation from such a world! For our life in Christ is not dependent upon circumstances.

Perhaps God, for his own reasons, will occasionally give us a little "sneak peek" into his workings in this temporal world. And that can be cool. However, the plan of our lives is not found in the succession of such insights, for the plan of our lives is Christ himself. What we have learned in this world, and what it keeps demanding of us, is that purpose might be found by seeking it out, figuring it out, and following it. But know this, if we're in Christ we're already in the plan. Because he is our purpose we are free from that constant, futile striving to find the elusive "plan for our life".

It was for freedom that Christ set you free! Galatians 5:1

As a side note: I'm not disregarding the infinitesimally detailed interconnection of all things based on cause and effect. Such is the history of this world. But I do not consider the plan of God as being defined by the history of this world. Though the reality of God is demonstrated in this world, there is a vast difference between the history of the old creation and the history of the new.

Comments

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Posted: Feb-19-06 by Dan

Interesting post. You bring a point across that many seem to find so necessary in their faith life as evident in the slew of e-mail forwards that perpetuate this belief. A world without validation for many would be a a very scary and dark place.

It is odd, isn't it? Just as I found myself despairing this afternoon over the perception of the absent God, I opened your e-mail you sent and found solace in a God that does not need validating, because of the primacy of the cross.

So--I was comforted with the message that the Christ himself found no coincidences "for him" on the cross; just as your affirmation that my experience is the norm of the human experience leaving only Christ as the center to comfort us.

What a coincidence.....

I enjoy your thoughts.

Dan


Posted: Feb-20-06 by Billy-boy

Jim,

I like it!


Posted: Feb-20-06 by guest

shoveletter wrote:

But know this, if we're in Christ we're already in the plan. Because he is our purpose we are free from that constant, futile striving to find the elusive "plan for our life".

"It was for freedom that Christ set you free!"

Jim

Yes...you could say..."We ARE ...'THE PLAN'...
You could also say that because CHRIST is IN US and we are IN CHRIST...and we are HIS BODY and HAVE the MIND OF CHRIST...and see things according to HIS VISION...that we are NOW making MAN in OUR IMAGE!!! Because we see all men COMPLETE and WHOLE IN CHRIST...just as OUR FATHER saw US before we came to know ourselves as HOLY and BLAMELESS in HIS SIGHT!

GLORY! We seek not to validate ourselves...because CHRIST needs no validation...he is the VALIDATOR! Our Validation is CHRIST...and out of this VALIDATION...we VALIDATE and IMPUTE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to a lost and dying world.

What a completely different way of looking at "this world". It might actually make a person believe that "THE EARTH IS THE LORDS...and the FULLNESS THEREOF!"

And of the INCREASE of HIS KINGDOM there shall be no end...

As one of the "DUMB & DUMBERER" characters say..."I LIKE IT A LOT!"

bruce


Posted: Feb-22-06 by Rickster

Interesting thoughts. I've noticed this forward and backward thinking to be very evident in my own soul. I can examine my life, in hindsight, and assemble very interesting plot lines of how circumstances have worked together, and attribute these scripts to God's involvement and presence. However, it might be said that this is not that difficult, given that there are literally millions of variables to pick and choose from. Further, given such a vast database, there is no need for these events, in particular, or in sum, to be anything beyond coincidental. I make them valid and "alive" by how I build them (sounds a little bit like how a person might fashion an idol).

Just like the idol that both cooks my food, and warms my hands, I can then take these proofs of God's presence in my past, and project them upon my future. I can trust that the same God who has shaped my past is in control of my future.

Questions arise: What if there is no THE future? What if THE future doesn't exist until it happens? Is it not possible that by positioning God's presence in the future, I'm trying to build Him a habitation that does not and cannot exist? If I'm providing an abode that cannot exist, can God be found there? If God doesn't love the unicorns, because they don't exist, does this make Him any less all-loving? If God doesn't know what the precise weather will be in Boise, Idaho, on September 29, 2009 (unless He specifically purposes it), because it doesn't exist yet, does this make Him any less omniscient? The usual response to these questions might be that "His ways are higher than our ways." However, I've found in my own life, this accolade is often used merely to validate and insulate my particular belief system.

Perhaps pursuing the presence of God in the past or the future ultimately results in one common end: absence. Maybe this isn't accidental or coincidental. If so, that leaves only one realm, in this time-ordered dimension, where He may be found: today. If yesterday's manna is stale, and tomorrow's doesn't exist yet, then The Bread of Life, the Lord Jesus Christ, is for today.


Posted: Feb-25-06 by PK

I hadn't read your note about coincidences until today. I thought it was a significant coincidence because I just had a coincidence this morning that seemed significant. :-) Thank you for the reminder that my significance comes from Christ alone!


Posted: Mar-29-06 by Adam[Luvin]

Jim after reading this- the one thing that cried out to me was ALL is fulfilled in HIM!He is everything.So even our desire for meaning.Its fulfilled in Himself..it all revovles around Christ..no need to go searching..just rejoyce in Him.

I'm pretty well convinced that God is in the business of deliverance. The snag is always found in my faulty perception that I can “help” Him with the deliverance.

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