Tuesday, March 20, 2012

When Bad Things Happen

We all experience problems in life, both personally and as a society. Maybe you’ve experienced the loss of a job, a loved one, or your home. Maybe you have a boss that is so mean you can’t stand the thought of another days work. Perhaps your health is failing, or you’ve lost money in the stock market, or ______. You fill in the blank. We all have them.

As a society, our problems are no better.  In this world we have people dying of starvation. There is crime and corruption. War.

Plenty of reason to complain. Justification to lift our fists in anger and blame God. For some, it’s enough to even doubt that God exists.

Remember though - we were given free will. And if we look hard enough, we will find that most of the time, the blame for our calamities and problems can be traced back not to God, but to us. Poor choices, hatred, bigotry, greed, indifference – these are usually the culprits and cause of our grief, not God.

Look around you. Humankind has been blessed with a world of abundance[1] and beauty. But yes, bad things happen, even to good people. That doesn't mean God doesn't exist, nor does it mean God is to blame.

Remember when you were a kid riding in the backseat of the car and started whining. Your parents told you to be quiet, but you kept on whining and kept on, until finally your dad shouted that he’d give you something to cry about. Well, maybe God gets tired of hearing us all complain too. How about we look for the joy and beauty (because it is there), and offer our thanksgiving instead on this trip called life.

[1] According to numerous authorities on hunger, including Poverty.com and LifeNews.com, there is plenty of food to go around. It’s just up to us to see that it’s distributed.