Caryn’s 23 things – and then some

Racing into Library 2.0 with LOL and others

Bad things, part II

You can read the first installment at <>.  I explored some reasons that I think God might have for allowing bad things to happen.

Since then, I’ve thought of some other ones.  A few weeks ago on Second Life, I was at Bible Study (you can read about this in my last post), and the conversation came around to why bad things happen.  I gave a short (a sentence or so) version of my post, to the effect that maybe it’s so people will have the chance to be nice.  When something like a hurricane, tsunami, war, drought, or other disaster happens, people turn out with love and generosity.  One of the people in the discussion thought that was awful, but it wasn’t really the time or place to pursue it.  It’s kind of taking what I said in the last post to the logical next step – if the things are going to happen anyway, inspiring people to love and generosity is one of the ways God responds to the disaster or whatever.  Our response is God’s response, and the alternative God has chosen to forcing everyone and everything to march in lockstep. (I could have sworn I’d already written that, but I’m not finding it.)

Anyway, that made me think another step – that if nothing bad *does* happen, people get complacent, careless, and selfish.

It’s been a dream for a long time to stop hunger, and that’s one of the “bad things” people cite when the subject comes up.  How can God allow some people to starve to death?  Well, in America, for all intents and purposes, we’ve abolished hunger.  I’m not saying it doesn’t exist in America, but with welfare and WIC and soup kitchens and school lunch programs and a patchwork of other official and private services, the overwhelming majority of Americans get at least one meal a day.  (If anyone cares, I’ll look up the statistics.)  Have we taken our bounty and tried, realistically, officially, and on a real-world level, to get it out to the rest of the world?  No.  In fact, we have instead put enough work into trying to eat it all ourselves that we have become the most obese population in world history.  (Again, I’ll look it up if someone calls me on it, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a historical period in which as much of the population was as fat as most Americans are.)  We jam more food into our faces daily than many people in previous times and other parts of the world used to see in a week.  We super-size the least healthy foods, and it’s often cheaper to get more food than to get less.  This is not part of God’s plan, any more than hunger is.  Whenever there’s one of those moronic pie-eating (hot dog-eating, etc.) contests, I think about all the people in the world who would pay everything they had to get that much food to feed their families.  That sort of thing is a lot more obscene than any sex not involving children!

It’s not just food, of course.  Although we’ve always moaned about high gas prices, fuel prices in the US have been among the lowest in the industrialized world, pretty much always.  And we got so accustomed to having this affordable gasoline that we started buying bigger and bigger cars, that slurp more and more fuel.  When we’re driving during rush hour here in the DC area, my husband and I often marvel at the size and arrogance of the huge vehicles we see.  No one needs a Hummer, an Escalade, or any of those other house-sized behemouths, to go from one northern Virginia suburb to another.  And, as is the case in most of the US, each of those cars contains one person.  My husband has been led to wonder how many corporals to the gallon they get.  (A friend didn’t get the reference, until I pointed out that no generals have died in our war for oil resources.)  People apparently see no connection between their obscene (that word again) choice to send young people to die in an oil-producing country so that they can sit eight feet above the pavement.

If something wiped out the food or oil production facilities of the US, and we had a famine and/or a total fuel shortage, we’d have to eat less, share more, use public transportation, and work together to solve the problem.  So, would that be bad, or good?

September 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why bad things happen

Ok, even if no one else uses SF as a meditation aid, there must be a bunch of people who use Bejeweled!  The beauty of the falling gems, the attempts to find and make order for the reward of continuing to do it – it’s very restful.  Like interactive stained glass.

God *can* control everything, but chooses not to.  God appreciates the randomness of the universe on a scale no one else can.  It’s in finding the best answer to every unexpected problem that the satisfaction exists, and that the love is expressed.  How one can possibly have a sense/knowledge of randomness while living outside time is something only God can understand!  So wish people “good luck,” and realize that if you survived the plane wreck and someone else didn’t, the event wasn’t God’s choice.  God allows this randomness so that you and Te can work out your responses to it together.  Some people respond by turning their lives to better purpose than before, and that’s certainly what God wants to help each of us do.  Some people turn fearful, especially on behalf of their loved ones, and give those people situations they, in turn, have to take to God to work out for the best.  As CS Lewis expressed, the whole point is to make us the kind of people who can each, uniquely, enjoy and live in and grow in, Heaven.

God creates order out of chaos.  In order for that to happen, there has to be some chaos in the first place.  God could impose order from the top down, but that would leave us out of it – we’d be bystanders just like the cats and the mountains.  God doesn’t want an audience, God wants co-creators.  We learn to create order as God does, by having chaos to work with.  The learning is the thing, and time and space are not all there is.

So, what I want to know is, is this a glimmer of truth?  Or heresy?   Or just the ravings of incipient lunacy?  You tell me.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments