Our verse this month comes from the book of Ecclesiastes, a book which seems to have a little bit of a "cynical" tone. It was written by Solomon, a king who had seen it all and pretty much knew it all. Some scholars say that this book is based on human wisdom (as opposed to Divine wisdom), but there are nuggets in it that are pure gold, no matter how you slice it. Solomon observes:
This scripture appears to be talking about the unfairness of life. At first glance, it's a "hard luck" verse. It makes me think of the USA women's track team who were shoo-ins for the 4x100 gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, but dropped the baton in the qualifying race in a case of bad luck. What a heartbreak!
But for another team, who had trained just as hard and wanted that gold just as much, that race was a case of having the BEST luck imaginable! Why, the unthinkable happened! The gold did not go to the swiftest on that day, and the Russians were ultimately crowned the champions. Time and chance went their way.
I certainly don't delight in anyone's "bad luck." In fact, I don't even believe in luck at all.
But Time and Chance? Now, there's another story.
You see, I believe in the God of Time and Chance. I believe that there is a Supreme Being who defies all limits of time, who is INIFINITE and all-powerful, and who knows all about my battles here on this earth. He creates opportunities, chances, if you will, for things to happen.
I absolutely LOVE Ecclesiates 9:11 because I know I am not the swiftest runner in the race. I know I am not the strongest, or the smartest, or the most capable. The odds are against me being a successful competitor. The gold will most assuredly be given to someone else.
But I have a heart that wants to win, and a soul that is giving God every opportunity to make me a "winner." My job is to stay in the race when my inclination is to drop out after comparing myself to the others. They seem so much more together. So much smarter. So much more connected and well-educated. Look at me! I'm a nobody! I'll never win.
Ah! But you never know when the God of Time and Chance will say, "This is YOUR day! This is YOUR time! This is YOUR race! RUN, girl, RUN!"
God will put you in a position to succeed if you just keep preparing yourself. Be willing to do the hard work of conditioning, even though the odds are against you. Show up for the race, even when no one gives you a chance of winning. Get on the starting blocks and then run with all your might.
Because "Time and Chance" happen to everyone! Give all your best to God and let Him take care of the outcome.
He will put you in the right place at the right time.
He will give you the opportunities you've been waiting for.
You see, this "hard luck" verse is really about a door being left open for all of us, at any given point in our lives. When we are a David facing a Goliath, or a Gideon facing a huge army of Midianites. When the deck is stacked against us and there is no hope of winning. Except.
Except that we believe in the God of Time and Chance, who holds victory in His hands.