April 8, 2009

It's a Crap Shoot

Yesterday I was watching a rerun and something the characters said was surprisingly profound for me. There were two people debating about a decision between two solutions. The one said to the other that it was too much of a crap shoot. So the other responded, that pretty much his whole dang life was one big crap shoot, so what can you do? Is there really a difference? No matter what you choose, the outcome is inexplicably unclear. Roll the dice, and see your future laid out before you in numbers between one and six.

How much of my life is really guided by some master plan and how much of it is just shooting craps—just betting the odds and hoping to come out on the good side of fortune? Sure there are strategies: throw the dice this way or that, use this sort of cup, throw on this sort of surface. But, does that really guarantee any type of success, even with practice? That may be precisely the thrill of gambling. I must not understand the pleasure of that thrill very well.
In fact, not at all. If I can’t have a certainty of an outcome, which I am willing to accept, I would like at least some sort of assurance, and yet, it can’t really be promised. Even with the best odds, there is always a chance that you’ll lose, maybe lose big. In that way, Forrest’s mother was indeed a sage when she made her chocolate box comparison. And what you get is what you get, whether you like strawberry cream or not.

At the same time, I am a devout believer in that supreme Creator of the world, who gives order to the universe, not to mention my own simple and small life. I do believe, firmly, that there are things in life that we are meant to do. That sometimes, as a course of events unfolds, I feel that each step was anticipated, although not by me. And when I get to the end of that experience, I feel satisfied and happy that I accomplished what it was I was meant to do, even if I didn’t understand it. I took the correct path when I came to the fork in the road.

However, people make choices; I make choices. Everyday these choices affect what will happen next, how my path will twist and turn. I suppose I believe that someone is there to watch over me as I sail across the sea of life; a captain who charts a course and directs me, but who cannot control the crashing waves or the obstacles in the way. (That is sort of a tired analogy, but I’ll go with it.) And although, I may cruise along with a doubtful heart, always teetering on the edge of indecision, somehow I make it to the next destination, albeit not always unscathed.

So the question is, am I in for another round of gauntlet running, or will luck be a lady, and hospitably let me pass? My track record hasn’t always been encouraging, but who knows. Only time will tell, and only faith has the strength to carry me through. And so the conundrum continues . . .

1 comment:

Michael said...

I'm with you--I wish life had a few more certainties. What happened to cause and effect? Well, at least you and I are on the same craps team.