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On Chance

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Message Stephen C. Rose
A chance is what occurs when destinies
Are viewed to be just random happenings.
We end up with a bunch of histories
As truthful as eye-witness offerings.

Only in games with rules does chance exist.
Most chancy things do not take place by chance.
Most chancy things are more a simple twist,
A twist of fate, a new step in life's dance.

If gambling was chance, you might prevail,
But all those great portentous turns and rolls
Are nothing but a preordained travail
By which the bell for every gambler tolls.

Ah yes, the dice, come seven, whoops it's craps.
And vaunted chance has played its deadly game.
But no, the game is plain, no hidden traps.
The odds are sure, the end always the same.

I wish to state the power of the will.
So much addiction is a fantasy.
The gambler knows, and yet he gambles still,
For this is how he wills his life to be.

He or she, for women gamble too,
Believe their life of failure knows no bounds.
They do not know what Abba's poised to do,
But if they listen, Abba's voice resounds.

Our accidents result from causes, right?
You'd not believe it. Chance drives everything,
In the beholder's eye, not Abba's sight.
There is a song of sparrows we still sing.

Can Abba within be omniscient?
Come, come, is not this something we all share!
Don't we take steps to be less prescient?
The better to avoid life's standing dare.

Seize all your power and reach for Abba's hand;
Come, overcome by grasping the good prize.
It is the prize chance-owners understand:
Make active choices, good futures devise.

Chance is the flip side of necessity,
A common coin, a trap, a lethal team.
They'd fling us all into passivity,
And blind our souls to Abba's saving beam.

Each day's a summons to creative act,
To navigate around the hidden shoals.
To overcome, to make an Abba pact
That your day will tend toward creative goals.

Let chance recede and willful doing advance.
Let Abba's presence light the way ahead.
Somewhere between, Take care, and, Take a chance,
There is a path on which we're freely led.
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Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded (more...)
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