As we finished our notes for the year and read the accounts from the Gospels of the crucifixion, several kids asked what it meant when the soldiers cast lots for the clothing of Jesus. I explained it's kind of like rolling the dice or picking a number between one and ten or flipping a coin. The following, from January 28, 2009, is about a coin flip with historical significance.
The Super Bowl is only five days away. Before the start of the most anticipated event in American sports, there will be the obligatory coin flip at midfield. The team that gets it right makes the decision whether to kick off, receive, or defer to the second half. Did you know that $10 billion will be bet on the Super Bowl this year, combining both legal and illegal wagers? Did you also know there is considerable wagering on whether the coin will come up heads or tails? If it were you, which would you call? I asked my classes this week if God cared who wins coin flips. They immediately responded NO but I replied I was not sure I agreed. I made reference to this verse.
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."
To me, that is evidence that the Lord has at least a passing interest in incidents we deem luck. Can a coin flip be the difference between life and death? Consider the best know plane crash of the last century, the one which took the lives of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. Guitar player Tommy Allsup was slated to be on the small charter flying from a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa to the next night's gig in Fargo, North Dakota. But the seventeen year old Valens, of La Bamba fame, begged Allsup to give him his plane seat, of which there were only four, including that of the pilot. Allsup agreed to settle the matter by an eons' old tradition and produced a coin. Valens won the flip by calling heads and lost his life an hour later in an Iowa cornfield. Don McLean made his fortune by deeming the disaster the day the music died. McLean's American Pie may be one of the most recognizable rock songs of all-time; even my students who never heard of Buddy Holly can sing along with the chorus. The youngsters in my classes, when I inquire, always say the Lord does not care who wins games, awards, etc. My point is that I am not as definite. They all say that their folks pray for them to get a scholarship or financial aid to college and I point out that if they receive the grant, some one else does not. I further tell them I am working through the process but that we know the Lord answers prayers, in ways we can't comprehend. Take five minutes and watch this youtube clip as Tommy Allsup recreates the coin flip from the same room at the Surf Ballroom where it played out forty-eight years to the night before. Ritchie should have called tails.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Death is very often referred to as a good career move.”
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