Is It Luck?

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Often in life we falsely ascribe the term luck to situations and circumstances that really are the result of preparedness, hard work, and God’s intervention.

Some people collect lucky charms. Neither life nor luck is enhanced by rabbits’ feet, horseshoes, or four leaf clovers. The real truth is that luck is what happens when hard work and opportunity cross paths. As Louis Pasteur put it, “Luck favors a prepared mind.”

A few weeks ago 155 people on US Airways flight 1549 had a rare experience, when that flight made an emergency landing on the Hudson River. The plane didn’t break apart and there were no fatalities. Many people referred to it as “luck.”

It wasn’t luck! That plane had a pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who had worked hard and was prepared for such a moment. He had a record as an instructor for other pilots in how to react in the situation in which he found himself. He had written manuals and had given lectures and offered training for other pilots. He had an opportunity to put all of that into practice.

When I am on an airplane, I don’t want a “lucky” pilot, but one who is ready for all situations. I don’t want the plane built by “lucky” people, but experts who build with excellence.

I remember reading how the passengers said that most of them were praying. God answered their prayers—that wasn’t luck but was the result of the intervention of God coupled with the exceptional expertise of a pilot.

If I want to improve my luck, I need to improve my preparation for life’s experiences and rely more on the sovereignty of God. As one successful lawyer who was classified as being “lucky” wrote, “I am inclined to recall that luck usually visits me at 2:00 am on a cold morning when red-eyed and bone-weary I am pouring over law books preparing a case. It never visits me when I am at the movies, when I am on the golf course, or when I am reclining in an easy chair.”

Ask God to help you make this a lucky day based on proper preparation, hard work, and complete trust in Him!

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