Sunday, March 13, 2011
Looking for answers
For the past few days, I have been occupied with hospitals, motels, and travel. I am thrilled to say my son has made a full recovery, and is now contemplating an exercise program perhaps a bit less than the 12 to 14 miles jogging three times a week he did before. The challenge, of course, is that we still don’t know why it happened and therefore are unsure how to prevent it from happening again, although he does now carry a state-of-the-art defibrillator within his chest.
In the process of this very chaotic time, I have been traveling myself through places I grew up, with special memories. A visit to a dear friend sixty miles south took not one or two freeways, but five, four of which I had never been on before, probably because they weren’t built the last time I was in the area. Even sleepy Hwy 101 had morphed from the four-lane highway I remember into a strapping ten lanes, five each way, filling the employment needs of the Silicon Valley.
I’m not sad about these massive freeways, even as I gasp at the speed people travel on them. The travelers on them go to real jobs, real means to fulfill their dreams. What they have done has changed our lives, to my mind mostly for the better. Each life style carries its own price tag, of course, and so we become subject to viruses, scams, and the horror of watching the tragedy in Japan as it occurred, news of which would have taken several days to reach us 100 years ago, and not in such graphic detail.
As much as this world has changed, as much as we know, there is still so very much to learn. We don’t know why my son’s heart virtually stopped in the middle of jogging. We don’t know how to predict earthquakes or tsunami’s enough in advance to save everybody. We don’t know why God’s laws, expressed in the laws of nature, would allow for the deaths of so many people, good people living their lives as best they knew how.
One explanation is that God is both principle and personal, i.e., the principle that if the sea floor slips, it will release a tidal wave capable of killing thousands of people; and personal in that we are all a part of God, like the wave is of the ocean. We feel God intimately within us. There are probably thousands of stories of grace, escape, and love, in Japan, not to mention those souls which did not survive this event and were brought back into their purely spiritual state that is Spirit, God itself. After Chris’ near-death and rescue, I have faith that grace exists, and hopefully it did for many of those in Japan as well.
What do we really know? Only that we don’t, and we keep trying to find out. There are as many different views of the Supreme Being as there are people who think. Christianity itself includes a staggering range of belief, and always has, right from the earliest days after Jesus’ crucifixion. The rest of the world contains more and different brands of belief, consistent only in thinking they are right. Even those who engineered 9/11 thought they were expressing God’s will, to our horror.
I have come to believe that the brand of religion or belief system we choose to follow says something about ourselves and what resonates within us, rather than who is ultimately correct. Hopefully, we have gone beyond thinking that anyone who doesn’t think like us is evil, unwashed, wrong…not always, I know, but I think there are more who believe in the inherent goodness of man and life than those who don’t.
How do we get more people to join us in this faith? Through prayer, worldwide prayer and love. Through being the activity of God, doing not what we want, but that which we should for the benefit of those around us.
I “know” for myself, that we are all of God, God’s expression in this world, tempered by our free will. I feel it, I live with the glow of this knowledge within me. Am I right? Who knows? But I will pursue living, loving, and giving to the very best of my abilities because that is what resonates within me. That is how God manifests through me, and many others like me who believe in the innate goodness of God’s creation.
And so it is. Amen.