You never know what your gonna get
“Life is like a box of chocolates” is a great apologetic.
One of the ways that people know intrinsically that they need God is the fact that none of us know what’s getting ready to happen. “You never know what you’re gonna get” moment to moment.
Surely no one knows the future,
and no one can tell another person what will happen…Ecclesiastes 8:7
One day you’re getting off work early and having supper with the family. The next thing you know you’re lying on an operating table telling your wife “I love you” for what may be the last time.
You don’t expect it. There’s no way that you could. There’s no way you could’ve known that your appendix was diseased and you’d spend the next two days in the hospital and four weeks off work. You just can’t know the future.
This was my story a week ago.
My son actually had a similar experience just a few weeks ago with his own long weekend in the hospital. He’s 18 and it was a total surprise.
We didn’t see that coming either.
Didn’t see him having an auto accident and totaling his 4Runner 2 weeks ago either.
These are the things that keep us guessing.
Guessing is not predicting though and predicting is not accurate prophesy. People are just not capable of such knowledge and that puts us at the mercy of the future.
Or does it?
Well, if you ask most people who aren’t in a helpless situation they might agree that we are at the future’s mercy except most people believe that the actions they take determine future events. They believe that is, until the future throws that curve ball that they had no such control over, such as the ones I described earlier.
Others may acquiesce to the power of the future believing for a time that there’s not much they can do to change anything about what’s going to happen. So, they just “live in the present” as it were.
The truth comes out when the future comes-a-callin’ though.
If a survey could be done at the moment that the future invades a person’s life with a vengeance, at the moment that they realize that what happens next is outside of their control (or the control of anyone else), then we’d find that most people believe someone does control the future, someone who has the right to change it and the power to do so.
There emerges a belief in God although maybe unorthodox, that people default to when in dire straits.
There aren’t any atheists in fox holes they say.
Well, that’s probably true for more people than soldiers.
There are all kind of fox holes though. There are hospital beds, waiting rooms, the back seats of police cars, mail boxes, court summons, divorce papers, cell phones, and morgues. These are just a few of the places, the fox holes where we find ourselves in the hands of the future-or the one who holds the future.
Rarely do those places find us unprepared to ask God for help, even if we didn’t admit his existence before. This little fact should be hard to overlook if you are an effective apologist.
An impulsive cry to God in a time of helpless need does not prove he exists, but it says something about what the person thinks about him, his existence and his immanence.
That’s advantage apologist!
It’s not a tool that you can use like a hammer though. But it is a tool that you have at your disposal, not as a hammer but as prescription of providence, medicine for melee. It’s a friendly reminder you can issue at the appropriate time. A responsive prayer or Scripture recalled means more than philosophical and logical arguments at that point.
People need the Lord is the song, but it’s also the truth. When the future sends us a surprise and we need future help, God is where we go, or who we go to as humans. People know that. People know they need the Lord.
He is the Lord and that means something to people on the precipice of uncertainty. Like I said earlier, people understand or at least are willing to concede as humans in the moment of need, that God is the Lord of the future-meaning once again that he has power over the future and the right to its outcome. He is really and actually sovereign is a phrase that we rarely admit until we must. At the threshold of the future, in the grips of providence, we must yield and we know it.
As a Christfollower and apologist, live with that certainty. Encourage others to have faith. Give the gospel message of hope in Christ. That’ll preach when nothing else will in times of vulnerability.
The funny thing is that, as every one of us are theologians and philosophers of some sort or another, we are willing to, as ND Wilson says, ride in space on a ball rotating at 1037 mph, spinning over 66,000 mph around another ball of fire that is about 9900 degrees Fahrenheit drinking coffee discussing whether there is a higher power. Our confidence in what’s coming is quite quaint.
You’re going to get the opportunity to use this apologetic tool sometime in your life or the life of another. It’s the nature of life on earth. It’s a dangerous place and the future can be as well. So take the Scout’s advice and obey God when he tells us to always be ready to give a defense.
The point is this: Forest Gump’s mother was correct. Life is like a box of chocolates and that’s a great apologetic. You never know what you’re gonna get. Now that we know that, let’s gracefully point out to others that there is someone who does know and can work for us there.