I read a strange little Chinese fable that struck a chord with me. It went something like this.
A great emperor went on a long journey and when he returned, he discovered to his horror that he'd lost his precious pearl along the way. He decided to send some of his servants to search for it.
First he sent Education, but Education couldn't find it.
Then he sent Perseverance, but after a long time, Perseverance couldn't find it either.
Finally, he sent By Chance, and By Chance managed to find the pearl.
That was about it. It made me laugh because that same guy, "By Chance" has made his input on my life too. I'm sure we could all say the same. I've tried to control many outcomes in my own life and fallen short. I think those other servants in the story, "Education" and "Perseverance" are all tied up with control. I ought to know because I've tried kowtowing to them in the past and they've never lived up to all that I've hoped. The more I think about it, the more I see that so many of the good things in my life were brought by the other servant, "By Chance."
I was introduced to the man I married "By Chance."
Each of my 3 children was conceived "By Chance." That's the absolute truth. We persevered in trying, but those times seemed to either result in nothing or end in early miscarriages. My 3 children were the only accidental pregnancies I had. How strange that seems.
Several people who helped me get my books edited and published came across some other writing of mine, "By Chance."
One of the photos I stumbled upon for a front cover was "By Chance."
I've sought several books I'd heard of expecting a good read, but many of my favourite authors became so "By Chance."
My daughter even met her best friend at kindergarten "By Chance" and they are now both homeschoolers who live around the corner from each other. At other times, I've tried to encourage my kids to be friendly with certain others, and they've inevitably drifted apart.
Trying to work things out in my own strength has so often made me miserable when they haven't worked out, but I have a tendency to keep doing it because I guess I like the illusion that we can make things happen the way we want them to. But when I remember "By Chance" I feel more optimistic. "By Chance" seems to be one of God's reminders that He alone has the wisdom and knowledge and power to control my life and I don't have to struggle and strain. We each stand slap-bang in the middle of our own lives and can see only a little way. God has a much greater perspective and knows exactly when to send things to us "By Chance."