Bicycle Trip 2020 Day 6

We are camped near Cave Junction, Oregon tonight in a nice campground with lots of shade, showers, electricity, and a nice “club house” to sit and read and write in once the bugs come out.

So, instead of a travel log in tonight’s blog I thought I might pose a theological question. I think about these kinds of things as I ride along on my bike. I am not saying what I believe to be true, just asking the question to prompt some thought. My brother Cliff has had two flat tires and his wife Kathy has had two, and I have had none.

So the question, “Did God cause the flat tires, or does He just let some things happen”? If God is all sovereign, is there room inside His sovereignty for natural cause and effect? If God is Sovereign over some things, but not all things, where is the line? I buy “Gatorskin” tires for my bike which are extra thick and use extra tough rubber with Kevlar liners and extra thick tubes that have stuff in them to heal puncture wounds. They are also extra expensive. If God decides who gets flats and who doesn’t I could just buy cheap tires and tubes.

So, let’s just say for discussion sake that God caused Cliff and Kathy’s flat tires. Why did they get flat tires and not me? Maybe because God likes me better 🤣 I like that answer! Maybe because he has sinned more, I am sure he has, but is that the reason for the flats? Does God have a quota of bad things that happen to each of us, and I will get mine tomorrow?

I said I wasn’t going to give my opinion, but I will give a short answer that really isn’t an answer at all.

I am accountable before God to live my life responsibly, with wisdom, and in obedience to him. I change the oil in our cars faithfully every 3,000 miles, I have fire insurance on our house, I don’t eat sugar, and I exercise an hour every day. But I also trust God that He is going to take care of me, protect me, and guide me into His perfect will, so I am not a fanatic about controlling every detail of my life. I ride down hills on my bicycle at 50 mph, I go sky diving, and I go rafting down class 4 rapids. I am not worried or afraid of getting the Corona Virus, of getting cancer, or of dying, but I am not going rock climbing up El Capitan at Yosemite with my son in law, Aaron.

How it all fits together, I have no clue, but I do know that I love life, have a ton of fun, have great peace, worry about nothing, have a joy that only occasionally turns to depression, set goals and work as if everything depends on me, and trust, love, and worship God as my Sovereign King.

5 thoughts on “Bicycle Trip 2020 Day 6

  1. steve anderson

    I think Cliff is better looking than you so he got two flat tires to even things out, Cathy is lots nicer than you she got two flat tires to even things out, God is a just God.

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  2. Sam Warner

    Hi Dee,
    The best swimming hole in Southern Oregon, is just a few miles from you.
    Continueing on Redwood hwy toward the coast, turn right on Airport Drive to the end, at a culdesac. Sis Q meadows. About 1/4 mile past entrance on the left. Rough and Ready Creek.
    Jeani and I used to manage that camp.
    If anyone asks, mention Sam and Jeani.

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  3. traceystrohmeyer

    I think about stuff like this all the time. No answers, just wonder. I guess we’ll know when we get to heaven but then will it matter?

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  4. Gilbert of Corvallis

    Good questions on a theological subject that has serious practical implications. Worthy of more than a short comment.

    Except the LORD watch the city, the watchmen watch in vain.
    However, the watchmen MUST NOT say, ‘Let’s take a nap since the Lord is watching the city. That would be presumption.
    We have free will and must do our part. God has His part. We CANNOT do His part. He will not do our part. E.g. We cannot be the atonement for our sins. And He will not do our repenting for us..
    I do not use the terms “God is totally sovereign”, or “He controls ALL things”. It leads to bad theology. E.g. Does He ’cause’ all things? Does he CAUSE Satan to do evil?????? No.

    Related: Many of God’s promises are ‘conditional’. (You’ve taught that).
    Eze 33:13 “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.
    Eze 33:14 “But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness,

    Bless you Dee. Ride safely – trusting. Gilbert

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  5. Tim Edgren

    “Cliff the sinner” has become a new byword in our house. I got a good chuckle out of this blog post, vicariously enjoying your love for, and rivalry with your brother.

    I find it helpful to think of God’s sovereignty over the world through the lens of my sovereignty over my family. When my son hits his brother, and his brother hits him back, this is often done under my overall sovereignty (since I could have separated them before it happened) but in no way did I ‘make’ them hurt each other, nor am I the agent of evil in their hearts (apart from the fact that I am a sinner and they are descended from me). I have sometimes allowed the conflict to proceed to further my overall purposes for my family (like teaching my sons to get along peaceably). Many of God’s purposes are far above our understanding, but some of them (like love) we can catch a glimpse of, and we can begin to understand what He is doing.

    Since trials produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope, there is an argument that could be made that God loves Cliff and Cathy more than He loves you, Dee, since He is producing more character and hope in them through their flat tires. But I think I’ll side with you on the idea that Cliff sins more.

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