“The Improbable Option”


In a recent Sunday morning sermon three words, “The Improbable Option”, jumped out at me with the bell ringing clarity I have learned to recognize in recent years. It is God saying to me…. “Write that down”.

Our new Curate, Pete Burgess, was delivering his very first sermon at St. Paul’s Episcopal church in my hometown of Mobile and he used those three words to describe the “option”, that became the “solution”, to a major storm in his grandfather’s life.   

Decades ago, Pete’s grandfather, also named Pete, was a doctor in Collierville, Tennessee. A large health care company was planning a move into his small town and by all likelihood this would put Pete’s grandfather out of business.

At the time, there were three main employers in Collierville and the incoming company was heavily courting all three to be their primary healthcare provider. Win the companies, win the town.

By all appearances this was another version of David vs Goliath, but we know how the original version ended.     

Ultimately, Pete sat down and wrote hand-written letters to the owners of all three companies. He petitioned them to keep their business with his practice as no other doctor, in town or elsewhere, knew or cared more about their employees, than he did.

Incredibly…. it worked, and another Goliath was defeated! Not by a rock this time, but by a “Hail Mary” of hand-written letters. Letters written by a man of Faith.

In Gods economy, Faith moves Heaven to work in human lives. Faith slays giants. Faith calms storms. Faith produces “improbable” results.  

In life there are storms that we face around us, and there are storms that we face within us.

When we face external worldly storms, we generally look for “things” to fight with. “Things” like resources and connections. What we have and who we know, are often our first weapons of choice. We’ll handle this ourselves, or maybe with some help!

It is when we ultimately run out of these external resources, and face “improbable” odds of surviving a storm that we finally resort to Faith. Losing confidence in ourselves makes it far easier for us to finally put our confidence, our Faith…. in God, in Christ. Read that twice.

But what about the internal storms, the storms within us? There are no worldly resources, connections, or weapons, within us to fight with.

In order to survive an internal storm, we must delete something from our life, such as a habit, a practice…. a belief. Or, we must add something to our life, such as a habit, a practice…. a belief.  

I know this because five decades of living has taught me things. So, what have I learned?

I have learned that in my life, just like in Pete’s grandfather’s life, the storms I have faced were often quieted, resolved, conquered by the delivery or orchestration of an unlikely or “improbable option”.

Something I never imagined, or honestly even dreamed possible would show up out of nowhere, or transpire over time, and I would find myself on the other side. 

The common denominator in these instantaneous or slowly developing “Improbable Options” is this…. God’s timing, direction and provision was visibly and clearly all over them. Even if I could not see it at the time.

With all of that being said, here is the writer downer….

The world we live in tells us that God, Christ and Faith…. is an “Improbable Option” to quiet the never-ending storms around us, or perhaps fill the storm of “empty” that often wells up within us. That is what the world tells us.   

In my experience, regardless of the size of the storm, or the storms location in my life, external or internal, God is not the “The Improbable Option” to weather the storm. 

In my experience…. He is “The Only Option”.

Get In The Boat. Do Your Part.

From Nose to Toes!

Shane / #16

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