Thomas Boston defines “the crook in the lot” this way:
…First. There is a certain train or course of events, by the providence of God, falling to every one of us during our life in this world. And that is our lot, as being allotted to us by the sovereign God, our Creator and Governor, “in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways. ” This train of events is widely different to different persons, according to the will and pleasure of the sovereign Manage, who orders men’s condition in the world in a great variety….
Second. In that train or course of events, some fall out, cross to us, and against the grain; and these make the crook in our lot. While we are here, there will be cross events, as well as agreeable ones, in our lot and condition. Sometimes things are softly and agreeably gliding on; but, by and by, there is some incident which alters that course, grates us, and panes us, as, when we have made a wrong step we begin to limp.
Third. Everybody’s lot in this world has some crook in it. Complainers are apt to make odious comparisons. They look about, and take a distant view of the condition of others, can discern nothing in it but what is straight, and just to one’s wish; so they pronounce their neighbor’s lot wholly straight. But that is a false verdict; there is no perfection here; no lot out of heaven without a crook. For, as to “all the works that are done under the sun, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” … Every one feels for himself, when he is pinched, though others do not perceive it. Nobody’s lot, in this world, is wholly crooked; there are always some straight and even parts in it. Indeed, when men’s passions, having gotten up, have cast a mist over their minds, they are ready to say, all is wrong with them, nothing right. But, though in hell that tale is and ever will be true, yet it is never true in this world. For there, indeed, there is not a drop of comfort allowed; but here it always holds good, that “it is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed.”…
Good reminders! My path feels rather crooked right now–not at all the way I planned for it to be. I had to laugh when I saw the title of the post because my grandma’s maiden name was Crook!
Boston’s book is mighty fine — highly recommended. One woman in our church (who normally does not read the puritans) thoroughly enjoyed this book, and says she has been much helped by it. pdb