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October 23, 2010

not random

It has come to my attention that using the word "random" as I do is inconsistent with my worldview. I can explain.

I don't remember exactly when I started peppering my conversations with the word “random”—likely around the same time most other people my age did. But I now realize that it is time for me to retake that word and use it correctly. Because this is what I've found myself saying:
  • "Remember the random girl I told you about who came to Bible study?"
  • "This weekend we randomly had my landlord in for lunch."
  • "Last night in the park a random guy spoke to me for half an hour."

Word choice might seem like a small thing, but I realize that by claiming that so many things or people in my life “have no specific pattern, purpose, or objective” denies my very worldview. I believe that God patterns, plans and arranges things after the purpose of His will. I love to know that He is a God of the details, and I truly believe that He orchestrates blessings of any size, whether a sale item at Goodwill or meeting your life partner.

That "random" girl at Bible study was a huge encouragement to me; she reminded me of the goodness of God in the midst of trials. God placed her at our Bible study—perhaps among other purposes—to encourage and instruct my heart. Who knows how my brother's lunch invitation to the landlord might have met a need in that man's life? I learned a lesson from my talk with the stranger in the park, and maybe he just needed to meet someone who was praying on a blanket, someone who seemed a little too interested in the Bible.

So here's to a vocabulary cleansing. Word choice really is important. Words matter to God, they should matter to us.

And here's to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of history. There's nothing random about Him. "The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11)

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