Monday, August 11, 2014

I Couldn’t Think of a Good Title, and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next

Photo Credit: random passerby at Islands of Adventure. Bless.

(Catch the audio here.)

Do all of the articles with the phrase “…and you won’t believe what happens next” tagged on at the end of the title drive you to the brink of insanity and make you fear for the future of humanity?

You’re not alone.

Such titles are irritating, stupid, and worse yet, they’re just plain lazy writing (except, of course, in the case of this post, which is ironic, and therefore clever.)

It’s bad writing, yes.

But perhaps it's good theology.

After all, that’s how life works. It doesn’t follow a tidy script, and what happens next is almost always unexpected.

If you think that living the Christian life exempts you from this phenomenon, then you’ve not taken into account the nature of the God we serve.

While it’s true that His nature doesn’t change, it’s also true that His unchanging nature is so infinite that just by the virtue of His sheer otherness, sometimes it’s still impossible to predict what He’ll do next. 

Even when we might know the what, we very rarely suspect the how.

Adam and Eve sinned while angels looked on;
God said, “You won’t believe what happens next."
Sarah laughed at the promise of a child; 
God said, “You won’t believe what happens next.”
The women wept on their way to the tomb;
God said, “You won’t believe what happens next.”
Saul of Tarsus rampaged toward Damascus, determined to slaughter Christians;
God said, “You won’t believe what happens next.”

And on the examples could go, an ever-widening list unspooling throughout Scripture and traceable down through our own lives.

Life is unpredictable, but whatever happens to us—good, bad, unexpected—can become an instrument of God’s grace in our lives.

So make what plans you will, but don’t set them in stone. Open yourself to intervention from Above, because if there’s one thing that’s true about the Christian life, it’s that you usually won’t believe what happens next.

And let's be honest: that’s sort of awesome.


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