It’s Friday night. I have to agree. I am no fun. I can’t provide excitement. It’s not an age thing though. I “locked it down” (not in a positive way) growing up. It’s hard to break the habit of a lifetime. I am putting in the time, but it’s hard or as some self-help materials would have me believe, I am making it hard(er).
It seems I haven’t been listening. I am like Jonah. It ain’t gonna happen till I listen to him. No matter how hard I try. Or maybe that’s just my excuse for my failings.
I made up my mind long ago that he exists. Yet when I see the evil both caused by ourselves and those that appear completely random, (what there is of) my faith takes a hit.
Today on a 140KM journey, I came across a burning car around the 40KM mark. Seems only one car was involved. The fire was raging so fiercely that very little was left of the car despite the fact that the accident probably only just happened. I think they got out all the occupants in time. I tried not to look. Traffic was being diverted away from the car. I should have kept my eye on the burning car. But I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t see something similar to what I saw several years back. Burnt bodies hanging out of the Windows of a burnt bus. They were in several stages of egress. Some had almost made it out before the flames overcame them.
Unfortunately the passengers of the car were sitting on the ground on the other side of the road, looking lost. Their bodies wide bands of white burnt and pilled skin interspersed by areas of regular brown skin including their heads and faces. It was hard for me to imagine the kind of pain they must be going through.
It helped me put my own issues in perspective for all of 30 mins. So close to the end of the year. Would I rather have that? No way. For a minute I thought if I was one of them, I would have preferred to have died in the fire. I don’t know why the sight of them conjured up the images of pigs, goats and sheep I had seen roasted in the past. Except in this case they are still alive. It brought again forcefully to my mind that on many levels, we are not so different from the lower animals. Especially on a biological (flesh and bones) level. Natural forces can’t tell humans apart from animals: All are carbon-based organisms to be consumed.
But there’s a spark in every human that refuses to die until it’s literally taken out of our grasps sometimes forcefully. Even then we fight till the very end no matter what we are going through.
I guess the best we can hope for is never to be in such a situation. Like someone close said, “those who grow old and die quietly in their sleep with not much in the way of any (protracted) ailment don’t know what they are missing”
Or maybe it should be “what they missed or had the good fortune to have missed.”
And 30 minutes after I am brooding on my own issues again. Typical. I guess it’s the curse of humanity to never be satisfied. We are always seeking. Happy are those who have achieved contentment. Whether it’s via religion or other means. As long as it’s not something destructive such as alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately that seems to be the default option for most people. Maybe because it requires no brain matter. No need to think. It ends your search for the answer to that question (why am I here? and where am I going?) for as long as the high lasts. But more and more, the answers people give become too simplistic (yet he said if we don’t accept it in that way, like little kids would, we won’t be joining him “up yonder”). If we take it that we are being prepared for eternity in heaven only, then it’s hard to see how what one does or doesn’t do in a life spanning a 100 years at most justify a label we would carry for all eternity. I make exceptions for people such as Hitler and his cronies. But that just muddles the water further. For how low would we need to put the bar to decide who was and who wasn’t culpable in Second World War Germany and so punish such people for all eternity?
And if this whole arrangement is to be dimmed fair (by whose standard? Pottery for honor and dishonor comes to mind), then it would require that all be given equal chances to make their choices. But making the “right” choices come easier for people who live in some reasonably stable western societies, but what about the millions that are slaughtered in places such as some African countries by a combination of wars, disease, hunger, illiteracy before they even grasp the good news? It’s hard to listen to anything when you are in pain or dying from hunger.
I have to assume he’s still calling.
How to say yes, and yes to what are the issues. Place that next to all the possibilities (temptations) out there, and it’s obvious what I need is a voice screaming blue murder during the day and not one whispering quietly in the dark of night.