This past Saturday, I found out a great person that I've had the opportunity to meet through my career, lost his father on Friday. I thought a lot about what he must be going through, though I know that I can never really know. I thought about the loss and the pain that he must be experiencing, along with, hopefully, a celebration of his father's life. Today, a friend, forwarded me his father's obituary, my friend's father (mother) lived in Iowa, and it was just the most beautiful thing I'd heard in a while. It really hit home for me, and I found myself tearing up in the elevator a few minutes later. I stopped myself from full on having a mini-breakdown, but I just got to thinking, life is so unpredictable. Here, I am at work, listening to someone complain about something that was an accident, and something that's fixable, and this person thinks their world is over and they are furious with this person who clearly did not set out to ruin this person's life. How frivolous it all seems. As I sit here, my friend is burying his father. People all over the world are burying their loved ones, watching as their loved ones are facing death, waiting as their loved one undergoes a life threatening surgery, hoping and praying that they don't outlive their own children, that their child gets a chance to feel the Spring wind on their face, lay in the sun on a hot Summer day, Dance in a pile of leaves, make Angels in the new fallen snow, pleading that they don't have to face every day without this person. And, it just gets me thinking...I know that their is a higher purpose. I know that God has a plan for each and every person. At least, I tell myself that. I think that many people tell that to themselves, how else could you cope with all the pain and suffering in the world, unless you believed that. And there is so much good. Everyday there is good. But, man is there bad too.
How much or our lives are chance and how much is part of a grander scheme? How much is controlled by us, by our own behavior, and what portion of it is pre-determined by a higher being? Can you prevent a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol, can you prevent a stroke by trying to limit the amount of stress in your life, can you prevent cancer by not smoking? Is that manipulating God's plan by avoiding these factors? Does that makes us in control of our own lives? Or, was it all part of a plan? Do we decide our own fate when we indulge in high risk behaviors? Or are we falling into a plan God has already mapped out for us? Is that why some people who take these risks live long lives, and some people's lives are cut short? They have different plans? What about people that strive to live good lives, and their lives are taken surprisingly, and others who indulge in high risk behaviors go on to live full, long, lives. What about babies that are welcomed to Heaven that have not been given the opportunity to damage their chance at a long life? What about those that are 1 day old, 1 week old, 1 month old? What is their purpose? They haven't even been given a chance. Are their souls given to another body in that case? Since, they haven't the opportunity to live? Do they have souls at 1 minute old? When does one officially have a soul? Babies and children are the hardest for me. All those children at St. Jude, who under go rounds and rounds of chemo therapy and all that they endure? Only to sometimes not make it through to hit a baseball, catch the winning touchdown, see another rainbow, to dance, to fall in love, to feel the love of a child, what's that purpose?
Maybe it's my friend's father's passing, or my husband's uncle passing, or witnessing what the McKinney's are going through with Stellan, or the millions of other people across the world that are dealing with life and death that has got me questioning, why? I know there's a plan, a higher purpose, but why? Does God take a part in everyday occurrences, does he put his hand in things, or does he remain silent and obsolete in everyday matters? Did he just create, and then Adam and Eve fell from his grace, and now each day we live, we make our own destiny, or does God have a hand in it? Is there a Heaven? Or, is that just something we tell ourselves to feel better about death? Will God answer these questions for us when we arrive at the pearly gates? I think I will never receive an answer to these questions. But, I'm okay with that. And, for now, all I can do, is just try and make each day count, live life to the fullest, as if it were my last day here on earth.
James, you are in my thoughts and my prayers. May God's Grace be with you today, and each day forward. May you find solace and comfort in something within yourself, and belief and comfort in a higher purpose. God be with you.