Posted by: Phil Anderson | April 6, 2014

Is it Luck or Destiny?

My wife’s March Madness bracket has already won the contest among our teenagers at church. She’s currently in the lead and is the only person who chose either of the final two teams. Since neither she nor I watch or even follow college basketball, how did she do it? The age-old coin flip method



Gladstone Gander, the luckiest duck in the world.

She filled out her bracket based on 63 individual coin flips. First round #1 seed versus #16? Coin flip. Elite eight and Final Four? Coin flips. The big championship game? Coin flip. She’s winning the contest and no one can beat her. And it’s all just luck. Or is it?

A few weeks ago I wrote about free will vs. predestination. Do we chose our own path, or is it already established? It depends on your perspective. But where does luck fit in? Does anything really happen by random chance, or is it fated to happen?

As a writer, I don’t believe in luck. When my characters experience a series of fortuitous events through no effort of their own, I know that it’s not luck. I planned it that way. It’s what the character or story needed. Of course I have to limit good fortune, to keep it under control; too much “luck” makes a story either miraculous or implausible.

In real life I also don’t believe in luck. God has sovereign control over the universe and everything that happens in it. The more improbable an event is, the clearer my view of the hand of God. But if nothing is random and everything is intentional, that implies there’s a purpose, right?

What is God’s purpose in any lucky coincidence? Why did a series of random coin flips give my wife a winning bracket? We may never know. Just because God has a purpose doesn’t mean he has to divulge it. It may have nothing to do with us, and God’s purpose may be for someone we’re not even acquainted with.

So when something lucky happens, some fortuitous circumstance or event, take a moment and consider the possibilities. You may never know the reason, but God’s doing something cool for someone somewhere.


  1. […] I posted some thoughts about this previously and thought today might be a good day to share them again. So here’s an update of my post from April 6, 2014: […]

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