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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Absolute Nature of Uncertainty

What is the best thing that happened to you this week? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1635).

I consider this a "got you" question. I do so because I immediately rack my brain to think of what most pleased me this week....when the obvious fact is that I have no clear idea whether what pleased me most was the best thing that happened to me – after all, it could have been the worst in actuality. Similarly, there can be things of which I am completely unaware  that were God-sent.  Perhaps that aggravating delay saved me from otherwise experiencing a serious traffic accident – who knows? I don't know and you don't either.  So the only straightforward answer that a person can possibly give to the question of "What is the best thing that happened this week?" that I have not the foggiest notion.

One of my favorite stories follows:

{"The Stallion Story" quoted from Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, Greenleaf Book Group Press (2012), page 73.  I highly recommend this book.}

The Stallion Story

And old farmer lives on his farm with his teenage son. He also has a beautiful stallion that he lovingly cares for.

The farmer enters his stallion into the annual country fair competition. His stallion wins first prize. The farmer's neighbors gather to congratulate him on this great win. He calmly says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" Puzzled by this reaction, the neighbors go away.

The next week, some thieves who heard about the stallion's increased value steal the horse. When the neighbors come to commiserate with the farmer, they find him again very calm and gathered. He says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?"

Several days later, the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and finds his way back to the farm, bringing with him a few wild mares he has befriended along the way. To his neighbors' excited rounds of congratulations, the old farmer once again says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?"

A few weeks later, the farmer's son is thrown off one of these new mares as he is trying to break it in, and his leg is fractured. As the neighbors gather to commiserate with the old farmer, he once again reminds them, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?"

The following week, the imperial army marches through the village, conscripting all eligible young men for the war that has just broken out. The old farmer's son is spared due to his fractured leg. The neighbors no longer bother to come to the old farmer to congratulate him. By now they know what his response will be: "Who knows what is good and what is bad?"

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