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Almost two years ago I wrote a scene in my novel manuscript where some dude explained Pascal’s Wager to a group of college guys. I’d planned this scene months before I put fingers to keys to record it. Shortly after that, I received the long-awaited Third Day Move CD in the mail and quickly shoved it in my player to listen. Eight tracks in, out come these words, “What have you got to lose,” and I gasped. The theme of the song fit perfectly with that of the scene I’d just written. And now, it plays in my head every time I read it.
So, let me tell you about Pascal.
Pascal was a Frenchman. He had lots of friends who were gamblers, so he talked of belief in God and Jesus in terms of probability of the highest payout. He said you have two choices: believe in God, or don’t.
If you believe in God and you’re wrong, you would have lived a purpose-filled life and have lost nothing. If you’re right, you will have lived a purpose-filled life and will live in peace for the next.
Sounds good to me.
On the other hand, if you don’t believe in God and you’re correct, you’ve gained absolutely nothing. But if you’re not …
You lose everything!
In my manuscript, the main character is jolted from his musical meanderings (having been playing guitar in the background while the discussion rolled on) and challenges the speaker. Being a man who values truth, the idea of believing in something just to hedge his bets rankled him to the core. He liked to believe things because they were true.
The speaker answers him. “But don’t you think with those odds, you ought to at least check it out?”
Then, maybe … I should try to pray. So what if my words only swirl into the clouds and mingle with the humidity before they vaporize into nothing? Or might they actually be heard by an all-knowing, powerful God?
How about I read the Bible in context, rather than allow others to offer carefully extracted excerpts chosen to serve their own purposes? And would it hurt to step out and follow some small part of God’s plan and see what happens, regardless of what The World tells us to do?
Would God punish us for that? Would The World punish us?
We take on other challenges with risks like starting new jobs and even jumping out of airplanes. So I ask you, why not check it out? I mean, really …
What have you got to lose?
See why this is one of Cathy Payton’s favorite songs.
Gomer Inspired Music Devotionals: