Good Bye to “Good luck!”

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Deuteronomy 4:39

     “Good luck!” is a phrase you hear all the time. If you’re about to undergo surgery, people say “Good luck!”  If you’re in a job search, they say “Good luck!”  If you’re getting married, it’s “Good luck!”  If you’re expecting a baby, “Good luck!” If you’re taking an exam, “Good luck!”  If you’re going to court, “Good luck!”

 

     But luck is simply the roll of the dice. Luck is chance, fortune, fate, accident, coincidence or destiny.  There is another dimension – another perspective – that does not rest on luck or fate. It’s called blessing. Blessings always flow from others.

     As I begin a new page in a new chapter of “Living in His-Story,” I want to focus on perspectives that most of us share whether we’re lawyers or non-lawyers, rich or poor, powerful or powerless, Christian or not, Western or Eastern, Northern or Southern.  What most of us hold in common is that life is a gift, life is a journey and life is a story.

     All of us have also been blessed with the gift of Memory – a gift we take for granted.  But where would law be, or litigation, or the legal profession, or life, without Memory?  We would have no witnesses because they would have nothing to talk about. There would be no trials.

     Since this Sunday is Father’s Day in the United States, I want to begin with a bit of His-Story as told by my Dad around his 90th birthday.  His story is about a gift he received when he was a 14-year old boy living in Sparreholm, Sweden. Sparreholm – meaning “Town of Sparrows” -- is a small village 60 miles south of Stockholm.

    Dad grew up in a small one-room, plus kitchen, second story apartment with his parents, two sisters, a brother and a cousin whose parents had died during the 1918 Spanish Influenza. Dad was an avid reader and especially loved travel magazines.  In 1930 he filled out a coupon for a free magazine, put it in an envelope, addressed and sealed it.

     As he walked the half-mile trek to the railroad station that also served as the village post office, he knew he had a big problem. This was the Great Depression and he did not have three cents for a stamp.  On the way to the station, the 14-year-old boy whispered his heart’s cry that God would somehow provide a stamp.

     As he stepped into the station’s waiting room, a woman from the village called my dad over. Without saying a word, she put a five-cent coin in his hand.  Dad was stunned at the quick answer to his prayer.  He bought the stamp, mailed the coupon and put the remaining two cents in the Baptist Church offering plate the next Sunday.

     When Dad shared His-Story, it was as crisp and fresh to him as if it had happened that week. Perhaps as remarkable as the prayer-answering drama itself was the fact that a 90-year old man remembered a five-cent gift 75 years later!

     I’ve celebrated 64 birthdays and 64 Christmases. I’ve received hundreds of gifts in my life but, to be honest, I can only remember a few specific ones.  Who would remember a five-cent gift?  Unless, of course, the gift pointed to the One who gives good and perfect gifts all the time. We just fail to notice, or give him credit, or say, “Thank you, God!” 

     Was Dad just lucky or was Someone engaged?  If God exists, and if he is the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and all-loving God we read about in the Bible, then the truth of His existence should impact every area of our lives and profession as we see him revealed in the seemingly insignificant details of daily life.

     If the Creator of the universe and the Author of His-Story is not too busy to answer the whispers of a 14-year old Swedish boy wanting a three-cent stamp, is there any doubt that he’s just as interested – and as capable -- in meeting our needs, and those of our families and clients on life’s journey?

     So, next time we think we’re “lucky”, let’s thank our heavenly Father instead for his daily blessings --- like the next breath and our ability to receive and read this posting.  Let’s eliminate “Good luck!” from our conversations and replace it with “May God bless you!”  He always does.

     I invite you to share a “co/incident” where the Vertical intersects the horizontal displaying God’s blessings to you while Living in His-Story.