The Lord will provide

There’s a folk song with that title. Mike Cross (Folksinger from North Carolina) sang it:

Big ole buzzard sitting on a fence watching them chickens play
He sit with his best friend the ole chicken hawk
Chicken hawk jump up and say “We ought to invite us a chicken home for supper today

And the buzzard looks at him with a baleful eye.
Take a few seconds ‘for he give a reply
Turn his neck nearly all the way ’round
Looks at the chicken hawk and says with a frown

The Lord will provide (2x)
That’s what brother buzzard said “The Lord will provide”

Chicken hawk says “well I’m hungry”
“My stomach’s startin’ to rumble like a train”
he spies a fat chicken in the barn yard
Chicken hawk jump up and say
“The Lord helps them that helps themselves my friend”

No, the Lord will provide (etc.)

Chicken hawk starts a chasin’ chicken
Chicken starts squawkin’ and run
Farmer come out of the farm house
Farmer got a big shotgun

Farmer he blows that chicken hawk to kingdom come

And the buzzard looks at him with a baleful eye
take a few seconds for he give a reply
turn his neck nearly all the way ’round
looks at the chicken hawk layin’ on the ground.

I knew the Lord would provide
I said “The Lord will provide”
That’s what brother buzzard said
The Lord will provide

Well, there is a fine lesson about patience in that song, to be sure! Do you feel sorry for the chicken hawk, or good for the buzzard? Or are you on the farmer’s side?

And here is another line, from a song by Bruce Cockburn (a professed Christian):

Speculation is a waste of time, you want to go have a glass of wine…

Don’t you love the juxtaposition of those two concepts? And how much faith is really implied here? Waiting is our existential predicament. No matter what we think will come. Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes we can wrestle a reason, a purpose out of our situation, sometimes it’s just plain difficult. The problem that things don’t turn out how we wish is a key argument for atheists, and a tough nut for Christian apologists.

This need to control the future, and when the future comes, the need to explain the outcome is so very human. And by that, I mean our reach extends beyond our grasp. We can’t get over the need to find meaning,and have control over Fate. Nobody wants to only play the hand they are dealt, we want to ask the dealer for a few cards.

Both philosophers and theologians have deep things to say as they wrestle with this topic. They want the crystal ball too, or at least to be the the Great Provider of Comfort, either to the head or the heart. At the core, it is a logical impossibility, though. Reaching to the realm of the Unknown. Now quoting Paul Simon,

God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man.

Can we leave it there? I doubt it.

About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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