Chance or fate?
On Aug. 1 Charles Gibson closed the broadcast of “The World News Tonight,” with a commentary on the bridge collapse in Minnesota. Gibson said that the collapse raised the age old question, “Are the events of life planned out or are they simply the result of random chance?”
Gibson was asking whether people were fated to be on the bridge, or whether it was simply bad luck. Only God knows for sure, but there are some general truths worth remembering.
First, the bridge collapse itself was not the result of fate or a random chance. The bridge collapse was due to poor judgment. Had the political leadership in Minnesota heeded the warnings and fixed the bridge, the tragedy would have been averted.
Their reluctance to make the hard choices came back to hurt the whole community. To a large extent, we shape our lives by the choices we make. God gave humanity the gift of freewill. Is it God’s fault that we have not always made good choices?
Second, despite rumors to the contrary, God was present in Minnesota on Aug. 1. The tragedy could have been much, much worse. Did you see the picture of the school bus on the bridge? It was full of kids and could easily have gone into the river. It didn’t. On the bus a young counselor cleared the back door and rushed the kids to safety. The school bus survival could be the hand of God, keeping a bad situation from becoming much worse. God was present mitigating the tragedy and giving strength and comfort to families.
Third, life does not end with death of the body. Jesus said one time that the common Old Testament phrase, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob” meant that all these people, even though dead to us, were still alive to God — that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still lived in the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Tragically, for many people their earthly journey ended Aug. 1. But the hope is that this is but one leg of the journey and that all that has happened is that they have preced- ed us to the Kingdom of God, a place where there will be “no more death, sorrow or crying.”