Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Living within the Clumps

Life is clumpy.

Get over it.

Not helpful.

Really. I mean, how are we supposed to live with unpredictability?

Well. Pretty much the way you've been living so far.

This shouldn't be a big surprise to you. That life is unpredictable, I mean.

Because, you know. Look around. See?

We really really want life to be predictable, so we say things like when a door closes a window opens and there's a reason for everything, but in fact,

that's just not true.

Here's what is true.

First. When a door closes, you can't go that way anymore.

So you've got to find another way.

Chances are good you'll find one. There are lots of options. Sometimes you need to be creative and work hard and be patient. It would have been good for you to get ready for a clump of bad things to come along, so, you know, having some extra money in the bank is a fine idea. For example.

If you know that bad clumps are always out there lurking, then heck. Get ready for them.

And everything doesn't happen for a reason, but lots and lots of things that happen come with a life lesson wrapped up inside, something to learn, something to remember for next time.

Like, wear a seatbelt. Flush twice. All smells are particulate. OK, that last one is not useful to remember at all. It's just disgusting.

However. There are some things that happen that are so terrible, horrific, and monstrous, that not only did they not happen for a reason, but they didn't happen so as to provide you with a neat little lesson to learn from.

They happened because the quality of bad things is clumpy, too. Many bad things are just kinda bad, maybe most bad things. But some are much, much worse. Some are beyond imagining. Some are the stuff of nightmares that are not supposed to transition into daytime and reality. But they do.

Some you just have to survive as best you can. And maybe find people who have already survived as best they could. And then maybe become one of those people, so that you can be one of them when it happens to someone else.

Could be that there is a reason, after all.

We are supposed to help each other. And sometimes it helps to have been there for people who are now there.

Community is the thing. Coming together. Sharing lives and pains and joys and struggles and clumps.

Oh. And sometimes bad things happen because you did something stupid.

Let's not rule that out.

Because that's when everything does happen for a reason, and the reason is, you were an idiot.

Now. If God exists (always an option), then how does he fit into all of this?

Well. His main job is not to keep you safe from bad things. If it is, then he's doing a really crappy job of it.

And we're going to assume that God never does a crappy job on anything.

His main job is not to provide you with object lessons to learn from. With an exception for the stupid things you do. Those, you're supposed to learn from, whether God exists or not. Here's the lesson: That thing you just did? That's what idiots do. Don't be an idiot.

See how easy it is?

Now, as far as all the other bad things, especially the really bad things that happen, that's an interesting question.

Clearly if God exists, he could stop bad things from happening.

And clearly, he doesn't always do that. He might do it sometimes, but, well, you never really know. 'Cause they didn't happen.

So why doesn't he just stop all the bad things and keep only the good things?

Huh. Good question.

Let's give it a shot.

First. If there were no bad things, then we would never have any reason to look to God for help. Or to each other, for that matter.

We might even just start to think about only ourselves all the time, and never about anybody else.

Eventually, that would cause bad things. Maybe it does already. I'm gonna bet on that one.

Second. if there were no bad things, then there would be different levels of good things. And we'd start to rank them so that some of them would start to seem bad to us, and then we'd complain about it.

So even if there were no bad things, we'd come up with some. Maybe we already do that. I'm gonna bet on that one, too.

Third. There are only good and bad things if there is some sort of God around to call them good and bad. Even Richard Dawkins says that. "No design, no purpose, no good and no evil, nothing but pointless indifference."

That's a universe without God.

So even if we're not totally crazy about all the bad things,

they are only bad if God exists.

So you just have to live with that. And you kinda have to live with whatever he calls good and/or bad. You don't get to get to define good and bad for yourself.

Because often something that is good for you, is bad for someone else. One of you is being a jerk.

And we can't really let nations or cultures define what is good and bad, because they are full of people, and people are often not the best judges of that.

Because, well, the Holocaust. For example. There might be others. Ha. Not funny.

Fourth. If there were no bad things, then we'd never do anything at all.

Because some of the bad things are like, um, being hungry. Thirsty. Tired. Dirty. Naked. Walking instead of driving. Or floating. Or flying. Being sick. Or lonely. Or bored.

All of those needs give us something to do. For ourselves. For each other. If we had no needs, we wouldn't do anything. We wouldn't need to. And we wouldn't need each other. Or God.

And we wouldn't have dark chocolate. Or ice cream. Cookies. Hamburgers. Pizza. Fondue. Ceviche. Curry. Sushi. Burritos.

Or cars or movies or jeans or books or bikes or skiis or games or TV or music or scuba diving or dancing or theater or pyramids or great walls or tall buildings or short buildings or buildings or

anything. At all. Like friends. Lovers. Children.

Bottom line. Life is clumpy. So we need each other. And we need God.

Get over it.

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