Sometimes Things Just Happen



After I posted Sunday about the horror of being the one to find my mother after her death, my good friend Tammy Van Gils wisely commented, “Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Sometimes we get thorns too.” How true that is! And even the nice gardening gloves I bought recently aren’t thick enough to protect me from the cactus needles I can’t see.

Something strange happened on the way to church this morning. (I’m writing this Sunday afternoon).

We were moving along nicely at 45 mph, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze coming through the open sun roof of my Honda Civic. We were listening to a Newsboys CD on the car stereo and preparing mentally for a morning of Bible study and worship.

All of a sudden, something struck the car. Not another car, though–none were in sight. It sounded like something had hit the sun roof and maybe fallen into the car, but we didn’t see anything, and the car was behaving normally, so we saw no need to stop and check things out.

Once we arrived at church, however, we spotted the two sticks pictured above lying on the floor of the backseat. Apparently a tiny piece of tree branch had fallen just as we were passing underneath and broken into two pieces when it hit the roof of the car before falling through the open sun roof. There was no visible damage to the car. Just a few little specks of dirty stick, one of which landed on me.

Some people would go to great lengths to philosophize about the significance of this strange but ultimately harmless incident. I’m satisfied to laugh and say, “I’m glad the roof was open. I don’t think the car warranty would’ve covered a broken sun roof. And I wouldn’t have wanted to try explaining the accident to the insurance company.”

Sometimes things just happen. And how much happier we are when we can just laugh those smaller thorns off and keep on going.

How about you? Has something inconsequential “just happened” to you recently? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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Best regards,

4 thoughts on “Sometimes Things Just Happen

  1. Reminds me of this scripture: “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

    So true. Things happen. You are fortunate in this case that nothing happened to you guys. I’ve had many things happen to me – or not happen in some cases, when it should have been curtains, kick-the-bucket time, the end, kaputsville.

    I do not believe in fate. Nor do I contemplate a ‘plan’ of God. I do not think he arranges things to befall us or not, depending on his whims. No. I thing the ball started long age with an original flick of the finger and everything that has happened since are things we ourselves are working out. It makes us more responsible that way, too.

    If we say God did this or caused that it seems it kind of takes away from our personal responsibility. Obviously God could pave a golden path for us for each step and all we have to do is plunk or feet down and never stub a toe or have an acccident. But that is not that way it is. There would be no victory is being led like an animal through life. One is truly alone in this sense. We do have spritual and intelectual guides but nothing physical, so that we must make the moves and suffer the consequences – good or bad. ANd these results show our faith.

    I’m off the beaten path again… thanks for the post, as usual.


  2. Very thought-provoking points, as usual.

    I believe the world was perfect when God created it. But He wanted man to love Him. Although He could have forced man to “adore” Him, He couldn’t force man to truly love Him. Love is a choice. A decision. And that requires free will.

    But along with free will came the ability to disobey God and consequently to bring sin and death into the world. I believe that’s the ball rolling you referred to.

    I believe God has a plan for each of our lives, but I don’t see it as a series of events that He has set out that have to take place. Definitely not a “golden path.” I believe God’s plan for each of us involves making the best decisions under all circumstances to become more and more the kind of people He wants each of us to be.

    I don’t believe He has a single plan per person, however. I think He has choices in mind that lead in a better way for each bad choice we make. Kind of like an endless series of if-then-elses that all point in the same direction. I hope that makes sense.

    Sorry it took me a few days to respond to your comment. As I often do, I like to think about your comments for a few days before replying.


  3. I think my reference to the ball being flicked had to do with creation. At the creation all issues of God’s place in the cosmos, man’s place, our responsibilities, what would be a proper way of worship were all determined. Had to be that way. I think the worship of God is not an ongoing process with changes and adaptations depending on current feelings. This sort of foolishness only shows it’s face in human relations. Our relationship with God really was ordained from the get go.

    Speaking of love and its voluntary offering to God, well, that too is for sure. There is no such thing as a voluntary slave. In the past slaves were forced to obey their masters but brewing under all this social structure was a vehement hatred on the part of the slave. So worship must be voluntary, devoid of coercion. Otherwise, worship is a farce.

    Therefore, we are not given a command to worship God. Rather, it is a plea, an entreaty. This is so because we have the ability to do so but we are not forced to. Our ability to think, plan, wonder, love, dream – these things set us apart from machines like cars and can openers. Machines have a function but cannot deviate from their tasks whereas we can change our function in an instant. We don’t have to worship God if we wish not to. This free will is a wild, dangerous toy.

    Which brings me to the plan of God for us. A plan is an arrangement or protocol. It is a set of instructions designed to effect a certain outcome. I have a business plan which is to make money. I can go about it in various ways but there is a best way. I look at the idea of God’s plan for us as a set of instructions for us to follow in order to be happy worshippers of him. I think that is what he wants. Happy worshippers. Willing worshippers.

    I don’t see it as God having a plan for me to be a writer or you a musician. These are things we decide. His plan for us is to enjoy what we do with our abilities and if we choose to use certain gifts we have to praise him, then good! If not, then good!

    SO we are on similar ground. Our ideas seem to parallel. Amazing.


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