Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not Lucky But Blessed

It seems that everyone is crawling out of the woodwork to offer an explanation for why young people are rioting. A lot of blame has been heaped upon parents for not doing their job properly. Schools have come under criticism for not equipping young people with sufficient qualifications for them to secure a job. Fears about cuts to the policing budget have lead people to think there are not enough policemen to deal with the lawbreakers. The obsession that bankers have for over-the-top bonuses make people think that money and possessions make the man lead the don’t-haves and unlikely-ever-to-haves to simply take when the opportunity arises. And, of course, the blame has been squarely placed on the government’s doorstep as the inevitable fruit of severe cutbacks.

I listened to one woman yesterday saying that solution is to bring back the birch, or corporal punishment and that the army is the right place to send the offenders.

Another woman was loath to condemn anyone. She would rather ask the rioters, assuming she could get close enough, why they were throwing bricks through windows and stealing goods. I am sure that very few of them would be able to explain their actions.

A liberal politician warned listeners to look below the surface. He spoke of young people being without hope. Even armed with qualifications there is no guarantee that there is a job out there for them. Lots of projects aimed at getting young people off the streets and out of gangs and into something positive or productive have been shelved because of cutbacks.

I would imagine that there isn’t one single cause for all the riots, but a mixture of all sorts of things. I have nothing but admiration for those young folk who manage to get through today’s minefield of setbacks unscathed. It wasn’t like that when I was growing up – I was lucky.

“Luck,” said the Spirit, “had nothing to do with it. You were not lucky but blessed.”

Luck is down to random chance and nothing more. I read a newspaper report about a girl who found a five leafed clover in the grandma’s backyard. She thinks she is for some special kind of luck. I have not been lucky but I have been blessed.

I have been blessed to know what I wanted to do with my life long before I met a career advisor. I never drifted aimlessly.

I have been blessed to be studying for a degree in the days of grants. I wasn’t faced with excessive fees and bank loans and a threat of repayments to haunt me for many years.

I have been blessed with family and friends that never allowed me to abdicate my responsibility to participate in the world. I was never allowed to claim that no one understood me.

I have been blessed to grow up at a time where there were no reality shows. There was no one to wave a promise of a music contract, or dancing on a Broadway stage or a number 1 Christmas single. There were no short cuts in my day.

I have been especially blessed by God’s involvement in my life. Eric Von Daniken tried his best to convince me that God was an alien from another planet, and I listened for a while. I don’t think I particularly gave my life to God, so much as He ambushed me with love and claimed lordship over me. God moved in and rearranged the furniture. If He moved out, I would be desolate.

I am blessed that I know myself to possess all the resources I need not merely to survive, but to flourish.

Because

Because I know that in all things
God works His good for me
Because He called me for his own
His Son in me to see
Because He stands beside me now
My enemies can’t win
Because I’m cleared of charges by
The One who bore my sin
Because Christ intercedes for me
And stands at God’s right hand
Because no hardship, famine, sword
‘Tween Christ and I can stand
Because I might face death each day
To life I have been raised
Because I know that I am loved
I’ll triumph all my days

(Inspired by Romans 8:28-37)

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