I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned: but time and chance happen to them all. – Ecclesiastes 9:11
I walked a path once that required more of me than I was willing to give, more than I could afford to sacrifice. And remaining on the path would have meant losing sight of who I was. I’d trudged across the potholes, leaped a few crevices, and balanced my way across a few slick logs to get to a better side – even had a good friend say, “You really need to look deep into those things, find the demon that gnaws at you.
This path I had walked held a lot of vested interest. I’d put years into following the road, dodging oncoming obstacles, and even prided myself that I’d found a parking place at the end – one with a view. So when looked and found my tires a little flat, I realized the success had been less than kind to my vehicle.
All the efforts I’d put into this journey, all the time and care, seemed to have been sucked out of me. Things bubbled to the surface and I found myself floundering. I had run a good race, remained strong and faithful, yet still, harsh things happened. I had prepared for mishap, readied myself for the future, so I thought − but when things began to go array I couldn’t understand why.
I asked my friend “What does this mean?”
His reply. “Doesn’t matter if you’re the strongest solider in the battle if you happen to be the one who gets struck by lightening.” I had to chuckle at his simplistic yet effective answer. He was absolutely right −it all comes down to chance. Life happens to us all, unexpected, unwarranted, and uncalled for at times, but it happens. Regardless of the time and effort we place on the task at hand, anything can happen because life is still abundantly active. Who we are, what our position is, or how well we perform has its benefits, but in the greater scheme of things, if we’re the ones who get struck by lightening, it doesn’t matter.
I wondered for a moment then posed the question to the Father. “What does it matter?”
“But it does matter.”
“Not if you’re the one who gets struck by lightening.”
“Trust me, it matters.” the Father spoke. “It’s important you do your best in all that you do. It matters to me.”
“But if wealth can’t help, if strength and hope can’t stop bad things from happening then what is the point?”
“Point? There is no point. There is only the joy in serving me. Enjoy the talents and abilities I’ve entrusted you. Life happens, but it is full of wondrous and divine rewards. The bad is rare. The good far outweighs the bad. Work at all you do and I will lead you past the hard parts.” I nodded in agreement.
Time and chance will take its toll from time to time, but the efforts never go unnoticed. God always loves our efforts.