Trollope, Petards, and Providence

In my middle age, I have come to love reading Anthony Trollope novels.

Trollope’s characters all have one thing in common:  They wander through life in a fundamentally hapless manner.  Sometimes, they have grand plans, and the plans never get realized.  Sometimes they have delusions of grandeur about their own sterling qualities, and they never live up to those delusions.  They fill their minds with pure visions of what life will be like, and it never works out that way.

Anthony TrollopeNow, this does not mean that Trollope novels depress the reader.  To the contrary.  As we all know, nothing is more truly funny than comparing the schemes and plans of man, the delusions and airy castles in the sky, with the pure reality that dwells in the mind of God.

God does not hand us scorpions and stones for breakfast.  That is a motto to live by.  The Almighty simply doesn’t hand us scorpions and stones for breakfast.

Let’s try to remember this—that God is in charge, and not us; that He is much better, and smarter, and kinder to us than we are to ourselves.  Let’s try to remember all that, and pray, instead of scheming too hard about what is to come.

Then we too will smile in the end, even when we manage to hoist ourselves by our own petards.  We will smile right along with our heavenly Father at the fact that we are a fundamentally hapless and comical race, we human beings.

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