“The lot is cast into the lap,
but the decision is the Lord’s alone.”
~Proverbs 16:33 (NRSV).
There is something very frightening about this little proverb.
Pondered are our decisions but the final landing is the Lord’s.
Perhaps it’s Christians — and other spiritual persons (in their minds) — who have the role of discernment squared away. At least they know, presumably, the importance of reconciling the will of God. Being close to God’s will means our lots that are cast are not too far from their calling.
There are two key parts to this proverb worth our reconciliation.
1. Best We Do Our Best to Discern God’s Will and Decide/Act
Part A of the proverb attests to what we do every day. We try our best. It’s clear we must continue to try our best.
But what squashes us between the plates of contention, that is this everyday life, is the reality of our desires and their almost complete disparity with God. This is a fact that remains simply to be accepted.
2. Best We Accept Whatever Occurs in Life Beyond Our Will
Part B of the proverb juxtaposes Part A in wonderful, irrefutable truth.
Despite our rationale to the contrary — and humanity can never understand it — God stands at a distance. This is something we have no purpose in arguing with. The Lord’s ways are higher and deeper than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
It’s maddening otherwise, if we’ll kick against the pricks of God’s daily judgment; for that is what terrible happenings are. They’re from God. God allows them to occur, despite the intention of good oftentimes in our planning, and also because of our bad planning, or lack thereof.
Acceptance is the byword of self-reconciled grace. It’s necessary to understand God.
Decision-Making and God
It’s very clear in Proverbs’ wisdom that to be near God is to succeed most of the time in life.
To make our decisions without recourse for indecision, regret or any other visceral anguish is surely a blessing. The best of both worlds — and peace — is achieved when acceptance of God’s final word is realised upon the known outcome.
Holding the tension between the two is a terrific blessing of Christian maturity.
It’s our responsibility to take account of the opportunities and to make the most of present circumstances, whilst being perfectly happy when our decisions don’t work out; as we can see God’s inscrutable hand in the outcome.
To not resent a thing; now, that’s the wisdom of maturity.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.