Reclaiming Lucky

Lake Matheson

Lake Matheson (Photo credit: Ulrich Hoecker, Wikipedia)

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.

Let's reclaim and redefine the word 'lucky'...

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.

But.

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.

Girl in rural Bangladesh

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.

Lucky us. Let’s share the luck around.

Water piping will help provide clean water to ...

Water piping will help provide clean water to tens of thousands of people in Mogadishu and the Afgooye camps Photo: Alun McDonald/Oxfam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

If you’re newish to Sacraparental, you might like to check out the Sacraparental Facebook feed, with daily links and resources, and my Pinterest boards, especially the topical Change the World.

 

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10 comments on “Reclaiming Lucky”

  1. dancinginthespirit Reply

    I absolutely agree that those of us who are blessed or lucky, which surely the vast majority of us in the Western world must/should/could share than luck around – whether in the form of love, time ,prayers, campaigning, money, or simply living our lives in a way that doesn’t cause any more harm or ‘unluck’ to others elsewhere. I want to live my life in such a way that I live wth gratitude and an awareness of how I and my family can positively impact our ‘neighbours’ around the world.

    You might like to hear our latest podcst of our church’s sermon, which was about reaching out, and talked about cultivating compassion and fighting injustice: http://trinitycheltenham.com/Podcasts/together-we-can-2/

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  9. Sharolyn Reply

    What a gift to stumble upon your blog today. I could have commented on any number of the list of brilliant posts I’ve been reading through while I should be getting an early night… It is so refreshing to hear a sacramental, female, feminist, witty voice out of New Zealand (I’m an Aussie with family in NZ so feel very fondly about the place and it’s people). We fell in love with the liturgical year and the riches of the sacraments during a couple of years spent in Vancouver, Canada, for study, and I have set it as a personal task to find ways to immerse ourselves in it here, in a culturally and seasonally relevant way, in the Pentecostal church in stinking hot Brisbane (and its only October! – don’t get me wrong, I do love this place) that my husband and I grew up in. Thank you, thank you. Sacramental Breastfeeding – so brilliant, so necessary! I love your thoughts on lucky too. Blessed can certainly be problematic as you say so I’m thankful to reclaim lucky with you. I hope you will still write when you are with Partners? A good friend of mine did some work with them on the Thai/Burma border also. Grace and Peace to you and your family.
    Sharolyn recently posted…May, Junia, JulyMy Profile

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