Having COPD has not changed my viewpoint. I’m much more about finding non-denominational and non-religious blessings than I ever was, as only I am responsible for the fickle finger of fate life has dealt me.
Having started down this path as a babe in arms, I will never accept that I caused my disease, or that I have something to atone for from a previous life.
Yes, I’m just that stubborn and opinionated.
That being said, though, I can admire someone with a strong faith and the courage of their convictions.
As someone who was raised with an Irish last name, a mix of Protestant, Catholic and Jewish family values, and a strong connection to my Scots forebearers, I’m a typical American – a heinz 57 mix of beliefs and values.
I know about religion, but don’t have any particular faith.
It does amuse me no end, though, to watch some of my more faithful friends scramble to save us all from our impending doom, as they post statement after statement about the world being at an end, and their efforts to get one more soul for their God.
So, I hope you can understand my sense of whimsey when I went to find a picture to illustrate my point, and it turns out that Homer Simpson was picture No. 666 being added to my iPad (queue the dramatic music).
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I have no idea what comes after this life. “Next” is just a concept to me, and not some strongly held religious belief. I don’t believe in promises from afar, delivered second hand, in the form of hopeful gossip to keep us calm on a dark and scary night as we pray for the return of the dawn and the light. The return of the illusion of safety in the bright light of day.
While I will hope to be reunited with loved ones, doesn’t that also mean that I’ll be reunited with the ones I didn’t love, too? If a God is merciful, doesn’t that mean that he gives second, third and fourth chances in the hope we will learn from our mistakes?
While I will aways hope that, if this life has some higher purpose beyond existance and endurance, that I learn whatever “lesson” I was set here to ingest. I’m not holding my breath, awaiting my guarantee of the promised land.
In my case, though, despite all the TYJ prayers and posturing from friends and family, I just don’t think that it all makes a hill of beans worth of difference to whomever’s “in charge”, if such an entity exists.
Think about how heartbreaking it would be to choose among millions if not billions of people regarding which prayers are granted and which prayers are ignored;
– The child who prays not to be beaten – again.
– The trafficked woman who prays not to be raped – again.
– The mother who prays for her fragile child’s life.
– The unemployed father, praying for a job to feed his family.
– The family who lost everything in a “natural” disaster.
All these people couldn’t have done something wrong to “deserve” to be chosen to endure life’s travails. Somebody (many somebody’s) have to be collateral damage, forced to endure pain or living nightmares beyond comprehension simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If they all didn’t do something to “deserve” their fate, then would you want the job of the so-called God to choose among the inhabitants of this world to determine who is deserving of a so called, “perfect” life (think Donald Trump – the man won’t admit to a moment of difficulty along his petal-strewn path)?
No matter how I come to this topic, I just can’t believe that life is more than chaos theory. We live. We do our best. We die. Then, and only then, do we have a hope of finding out what the purpose behind this existence may have been or may continue to be, as we find out about what’s “next”.
So, as many of you are celebrating the ressurrection and the life of Jesus today, and are comforted by your faith, know that I wish you well in your beliefs.
As the sign says, “May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.”
I’m off to enjoy the day in all its sunny beauty.