Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Disappointed in Life

     So many people I speak to are cynical about the negativity they see and feel and about pain they observe in the world, loved ones, and friends.  People often struggle with the observation of injustice.  Why do some evil people prosper and good people struggle?  Why do evil people get away with injustice and a good person is persecuted?  Why are children starving and victimized? Why is there so much violence?  Those are the very tough questions we all have at one time or another.  Those are the doubts that threaten to take hold of the heart of the person of faith and render them powerless.  Those are the questions the atheist, agnostic, or nihilist ask to test our faith in a loving God and test our obedience to a Higher Power.  

     What if, the world, the creation (a creationist premise there) was not cursed or broken?  What if, when the fall happened God had only banished Adam and Eve and disciplined them but had not placed the curse on the rest of creation (the earth and all creatures)?  So, essentially humans keep their internal struggle but externally the blessing is still on all of the creation and the external struggle is not there.  The ground easily produces food, the elements remain perfect for habitation, the animals don't attack or destroy one another and remain herbivores, life is plenteous.  Well, my first response is humans having a nature of self protection and self reliance would then make the earth and all its resources a type of heaven and would be satisfied getting all their sensual needs met right here.  There would be no further need for the creator because we are provided for on our own, without Him.  That is our nature.  

     God did strike the earth and the animals with a death sentence and struggle and turmoil.  We all experience this struggle in our everyday life.  Family life is trying and takes hard work and is never free of disappointment. Work can/may be hard, exhausting, and sometimes/often lacking enjoyment.  Getting along with neighbors can/may be exhausting and trying.  Cooperating in organizations, groups, churches, schools, etc can/may be very testing.  And as we all know, picking leaders, managing our neighborhoods, cities, states, and nation can/may be very trying and disappointing.  If you have your hands in all of these areas at once and for some of you maybe more areas of life than this things can get very difficult, complex, frustrating, and then disappointing.  Why?  Because it seems there's always conflict!  Things get going good and you're bopping along and then BOOM!  Conflict is present again. Why can't it just stay fixed?

     We all seem to expect to some degree ease and comfort in this life.  And if we will press ourselves deeper we probably expect a lot more than that.  It seems like some sick joke when we wake up every day to conflict or struggle when we expected happiness and comfort.  Its like being asked to go out to eat to a nice restaurant and your driven to some cheap drive through food.  You eat the burger but leave psychologically wanting.  The expectation of the "nice restaurant" still calling for fulfillment.  You may feel lied to, cheated even.  You may even drive to the fancy place down the street later in an attempt to fix or quiet the unfulfillment.  Being human is much the same as this illustration.  Being human, we expect to be treated fairly, justly.  We expect to be loved, needed, valued.  We expect to prosper, get what we want, have pleasure and live in peace. And we expect to watch others live the same.  When life takes us to the proverbial McDonald's or garbage can for dinner we react with, WHAT?  This cannot be.  Did I do something wrong?  Did someone else do something wrong? This is not right!  I demand answers! I demand justice!  I demand this to be fixed!  All this in an attempt to create a sort of comfortable environment. My or your personal garden of Eden.  

     Sometimes these demands take up an entire lifetime.  Attempting in many ways to force life to be seamless, placid, comfortable, peaceful, fair, just, etc.  This only exhausts and consumes those of us who attempt any one of these impossibilities.  That's because when we strive for "Eden" we are striving against a law set in motion that will not be undone by any human.  Realistically admitting, facing, and accepting the experience of being disappointed by life may be very freeing.  It also may allow the mind to finally realize, "Why do I have this demand for perfection or perfect peace and comfort and justice?"  Admitting your disappointment with life may also assist you to connect with your thirst for a REAL place of perfection, Heaven.  In fact, I believe that is the purpose of the curse on the creation.  To keep us longing for the "more" of heaven and for God himself, a very real place and person.  It is not an error in God's computer system that things are dysfunctioning down here!  I believe His intention is to allow need so that we will look beyond this world and its chaos for our needs and we will find the possibility of safety, love, and peace in Heaven.

     I am not attempting to explain all evil.  That's definitely another blog.  I am merely contending that disappointment in life is inevitable and so is the human struggle to extinguish it.  Its not possible.  Life is never going to stay, Le Bernardin NY.  God does not promise freedom from struggle and He doesn't promise heaven on earth living.  He does promise His love and His presence no matter what and the hope of a future living with Him.

"Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse.  But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay" (Romans 8:20-21, NLT).  
                    

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