No Rhyme or Reason?
What few crazy week of weather we’ve had: mostly frigid and snowy, but with a few days that for Michigan in January qualify as balmy. For a day last week, it was warmer in Grand Rapids than it was in Los Angeles! It seems sometimes like there is no rhyme or reason to the pattern of the weather. I hear people use that phrase a lot for other things too. Sometimes life in this crazy world can seem so random that it can be hard to figure out what’s going on.
One of the blessings of our Christian faith is that while we may be tempted to see life as just so random, our Faith teaches something very different. In the Service of Doxology we prayed a few weeks ago on the first day of the New Year, we praised God for “bringing order to all things.” It sure doesn’t look like the world is ordered, but with eyes of Faith, we can “see” that God is sovereign and nothing happens outside of His Providence.
This does not imply that God is “in control” as some falsely believe, like some Grand Puppeteer pulling His strings on everyone and everything in the world. We don’t believe that God controls us, but we do believe that He has ordered the world in such a way as to paradoxically do two things: give us absolute freedom to choose our path AND, and the same time, provide order within which we live our lives.
What is this order? It is His “operating principle” if you’ll allow me to use an ordinary word to describe Him Who is absolutely Unordinary. He orders the world with love. It is because of His love that He makes us free. And it is because of His love the He orders the world in such a way that nothing happens outside of His providence. Because of His love, nothing is random, and there is rhyme and reason to everything. He does not remove the challenges that sin has brought to the world; He simply provides the way through those challenges. Our Father has sent His Son to accomplish our salvation, to save us from sin and death, and sends His Spirit to unite us to those saving acts through the Sacraments of the Church. In that life in which He draws us to Himself, the orderliness of His love orders all things. Nothing is random. There is rhyme and reason to everything.
Those without faith suffer under an illusion that life is nothing but randomness on top of randomness. They see no order, or more importantly, the One who “gives order to all things.” We suffer in similar ways when we do not see that order or remember that same One. So let’s look for it, and let’s look for Him. Let’s not be deceived by the appearance of a world with no rhyme or reason. He is the rhyme in the poetry that is our life; He is the reason we can find joy and peace in each and every moment.