We spend our entire lives blissfully unaware that we will one day leave this world. And when we do, we cannot take anything with us. So many people pray for their eyes to be opened to the world around them. In reality, this is not something anyone should want. If our eyes were truly opened, we would be horrified of the world around us. We would wish for them to be closed and to unsee the world that we live in. Sadly, closing our eyes does not cause our problems to go away.
It sounds dark, but it’s true.
It’s humanity’s greatest question. Why are some blessed, and others cursed? What is the purpose of suffering? Why do so many people face trials so unfairly, punished for wrongs they have no idea they committed? Why are so many people homeless, dead, or out of a job from the Coronavirus pandemic? Why are so many people taken from this world too soon, without a chance to say goodbye?
Perspective, my friend. Perspective.
We fall folly to thinking that the universe revolves around us. We live in a huge existence with galaxies, planets, stars, oceans, glaciers and volcanos, and great things that are unthinkable. We are but a speck, one out of billions, and only a single creature out of a plethora of life forms so large that we cannot name them all. How foolish we are, to think that anything truly revolves around us?
And yet, in the midst of it all, we make our experiences about us, as if the universe revolves around ourselves. Perhaps it’s modern, western thinking. Perhaps it’s human instinct. Perhaps it’s simply the raw emotion that we were made with, where pain hurts us whether we feel it or whether someone we love does.
But that’s not an answer.
Life is meaningful. Nothing matters more than even a single life that we see on this world. Why then, does suffering continue? Why is it allowed in such a huge universe?
I wish I had an answer.
I’ve been through things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I’ve been through experienced so traumatic that I have flashbacks to this day, leaving scars with me that I will carry throughout a lifetime. Boy, do I wish I knew the answer to this question. It would ease so many of my own concerns.
Unfortunately, we simply aren’t promised an answer.
We are a fly on the wall…
The understanding that we long for is not unexpected in a huge universe. I firmly believe in God. I also believe that even though we are highly intelligent as the human race, that our minds cannot outsmart God. We simply do not know why things happen as they do.
We have two dogs in our apartment. We have rules and restrictions for them. They are not allowed to eat things off the ground. They are held on a leash if they are outside around other people. We don’t let them freely roam the earth with no supervision. We do so because we care about them. Of course, they don’t understand why we protect them with a leash, or restrict them from eating things off the earth. They simply trust us. And if they don’t trust us, we still protect them regardless.
This is not an insult to a dog’s intelligence. They are, in fact, highly intelligent creatures. But they do not understand things as we do. They do not have the knowledge and wisdom that we do. We have a responsibility to protect them in ways that they would never understand. If they resent us, it is not out of a lack of our goodness.
Of course, we cannot truly know what goes through the mind of a canine. But we do know that out of an entire universe, we are insignificant in our wisdom and knowledge. There are things that are beyond our understanding. We are the pet on the leash, or the fly on the wall. A higher power is the master.
We are, in fact, not promised an answer to the suffering that we face. I would do anything to understand why we go through what we must face, but in the end, we cannot claim we know the answer.
Until I know more, I simply pray, and I hope for the best. I simply trust that there is a reason beyond our understanding. I simply choose to be still and know that there is a God who will one day answer these questions for us, and who promises to care for us in our darkest hour. And in the end, that’s all that we can do.