by: Jonathan Painter
Solomon writes in the book of Ecclesiastes, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”(Ecclesiastes 9:11) Solomon notes that no matter how talented you are in your field of skill, there are still two factors which you cannot control. These factors are time and chance. The runner may be swift, but his success still depends on time and chance. The soldier may be strong, but the battle is still affected by time and chance. There are two things that I notice regarding the speculation of Solomon.
1. Prepare in the face of time and chance.
The point of Solomon’s writing was not to discourage preparation. The runner must still train and prepare to be swift for the race. The soldier should still train and prepare for the battle. The wise man must work to feed his family. What Solomon is conveying in this passage is that preparation does not guarantee victory because time and chance are still a factor. Preparation is necessary. The runner who does not train to be swift and allows himself to be fat and slow will not win the race. A fighter who does not train his hands, eyes and mind will not win the fight.
Young person, in your life, preparation is most important; however, do not convince yourself that since you have prepared you will never face a storm. Yes, please prepare yourself, but keep in mind that there will be trials and you may not always feel like you are on top because time and chance happens. A surgeon goes into a heart surgery. He has made all the appropriate preparations. He himself has been properly prepared for the operation. During the operation the surgeon does not make one mistake; however, he finds that when he is finished his patient did not pulled through. What went wrong? All the preparations were made, but time and chance happened. A wise man will face the fact that although all preparations have been made, things could go wrong because man cannot control time and chance.
2. Pray to the One Who controls time and chance.
The surface of this verse seems very doom and gloom, and the first part of this article has taken on the same affect; however, the beautiful part of this verse is in this, GOD HOLDS TIME AND CHANCE IN HIS HAND! Therefore, if I am saved, my Father holds time and chance in his hand. Therefore, my chief preparation for any task ought to be PRAYER to my Father. Young person, prepare for every situation of life, but as you prepare, be sure to pray. Does this mean we will never face trouble in our life? No! We will still face struggles, for struggles make us stronger; however, we can know that we have a personal relationship with the Father Who holds time and chance.
I could not imagine living life as a lost man. Time and chance would be such a scary thought if I did not know the One Who controls it. Knowing God and walking with Him gives us the confidence we need to face time and chance. God will allow us to struggle some to help make us stronger. Yet, we must always remember that God will not give us more than we are able bear.
Lincoln Baptist Church