I like the word lucky.
Not just because it has a pleasant combination of consonants and rhymes with ducky and plucky, which are also awesome words.
For me it does a better job than blessed for making it clear that much of the goodness sprinkled through my days is thoroughly undeserved, nothing I can take credit for.
James has an attitude to this luckiness that I like:
Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.
For myself, it seems wise and helpful (and just plain good manners) to be grateful to God for every good thing.
Thanking God for blessings is surprisingly easily confused with thinking that we deserve them. Which can then lead sneakily towards thinking that people who are having a hard time pretty much deserve what they’re getting.
It’s luck, just good luck, that means I was born in a country with good sewerage and clean drinking water. It’s bad luck that nearly a billion people in the world weren’t.
I could say that I’m blessed to have this gift of water, the food I’m about to make into dinner (cooking for the third time this week!), medicine in the bedside table… but I’d rather make it clear that God loves me no more than the 1.4 billion people living on less than US$1.25 a day. So I go for lucky, while still thanking God.
I don’t have a coherent theology of blessing and suffering that explains how on earth I ended up in this dry house with plentiful rain outside, while there are droughts in Africa and rickety-roofed slums of millions in India, or why I have a wonderful husband and lovely baby boy, while many of my good friends feel the lack of one or both.
All I have is these pieces of information: I’ve got a good life. Most people have harder lives than me. I’m just lucky, that’s all.
God is good. Most of us are not, particularly. The world is complex.
Here’s a thought I want to develop: Perhaps it’s not so much that we make our own luck (and can take the credit), but that we can make other people’s?
Perhaps a response to the powerlessness we can feel is to exercise what power, what luck we have.
Your thoughts are welcome and your sensitivity and tact are encouraged.
This is a repost from a couple of years ago, and I’ve been thinking about it more in light of what’s going on in Burma.