"Blessed is the man who noticed you!” --Ruth 2:19
Christians aren’t supposed to believe in luck, but I do.
Look at every civilization and you’ll find good luck charms, talismans, and the notion that some rituals bring luck while others bring misfortune. The only problem with charms and superstitions is that they’re bogus – they don’t work. As a matter of fact, trust in a lucky object tends to make you unlucky. In 2003, British researchers asked 107 financial investors to play a game that simulated a live stock exchange. They mentioned that pressing certain random keys on the keyboard might affect the index. Those who used the “lucky” keys to gain an advantage performed the worst in the game.
Nevertheless, 77% of people are at least a little superstitious. And, to be honest with you, I would feel just slightly creepy about getting married on Friday the 13th. Even though I don’t believe it on the inside, it still clings to me on the outside like a bad smell.
With all that said, however, I do believe in luck. In fact, there is a sense in which “luck” is a parallel expression for being “blessed.” This kind of luck is not contrary to God’s control of all things, but a part of it.
Richard Wiseman, perhaps the world’s foremost researcher on luck, conducted the “Luck Project” in which he studied 400 volunteers who admitted they were extraordinarily lucky or unlucky. Wiseman discovered that luck is not magical, nor a result of random chance. Rather, lucky people act in ways that do not guarantee, but consistently bring, good fortune.
What do they do? They open their eyes. They learn to “see” opportunity. They are open to the situations in which they find themselves.
So, what does all this have to do with faith? Just this: when we seek to determine the agenda for our lives, we will regularly be disappointed. When we fail to trust that the Lord is in control, we will see our situation as tragedy and loss. Poor, unlucky us.
But, as we learn the life of God, we can begin to let the Lord work by his agenda instead of our own. We can become open to the fact that God works in wondrous ways – and they’re seldom what we would expect.
If you were a faithful Israelite, eager to find a good wife, you would probably not notice Ruth. She was a foreigner, a Moabite. She lived in poverty. Unlucky men would not pay her much attention. Their focus would be elsewhere.
But a prosperous and prominent landowner, Boaz, did notice her. When Ruth reported Boaz’ attentions to her mother-in-law, Naomi, she cheered, “Blessed is the man who noticed you!”
God does unlikely things in unlikely ways. Boaz was open enough to see the wonderful woman who would become his wife . . . and through whose line the Savior of the world would come.
Boaz was blessed to be able to notice Ruth. Lucky guy.
(copyright by Marty Kaarre)