With the Olympics in full swing the media has shifted from the events in Colorado to the global gathering. But if you're like me your heart still aches for the families of those involved. You've also probably been left explaining how bad things happen to people. I find myself lucky that we don't have live TV and it's a little easier to filter the things the boys are exposed to, but that doesn't stop the inquiries. The whys about the ills of the world; why are people divorced if it's a sin, why would he shoot those people at a movie, and a thousand other whys just because Turkey has hit that age where everything is why.
I have to answer to their sensitive hearts, but the reality is pretty simple. We live in a world of sin. I'm not saying we suffer for the wrongs we've done though in some cases that's part of it. They know all about cause and effect and consequences. But sometimes people suffer for the sins of others just by happenstance. People went to a movie and someone else committed an act of hate. Sad and horrible.
"But why doesn't God stop it?" The BIG question, everything they know is that God is loving regardless of what we do provided we turn to him. They don't always grasp that He loves us so much He's given us free will. It's like spoiled rich children; if they are given everything without work there is little appreciation for what they have. And who wants to be micromanaged anyway?
"It's God's plan." This is a statement I hate hearing from people especially "Christians". My response to this is generally "Do you know anything about God?" God doesn't not plan for crimes to be committed, He doesn't plan for men to walk out on their wives and children, He doesn't plan for bad things to happen. He would never plan for people to act against His desires for us. However, He knows when they're going to happen and yes, he allows it, and the hope for us is then that we will learn from it that we need more than what is on this earth and we can rise above and move forward.
There's a book series by Piers Anthony called the Incarnations of Immortality. If you like fantasy/sci-fi you've probably read it and if not you should. I read it for the first time my freshman year of high school. Yes, I reread books, often until the pages fall off. But one of the repeated ideas in the books is that long ago God and Satan came to an agreement that they wouldn't interfere in human lives in the "contest" to win the most souls. God honored the agreement and is pretty hands off. Satan on the other hand has billboards and ad campaigns. It's a pretty accurate illustration of the world we live in. God whispers while the sins of this world are in your face yelling at you. Whether you believe in God or not I think it still applies. No matter how good you live your life you'll probably be caught in the cross fire of the poor decisions made by someone else. On the other hand I like to believe that those same people are on the business end of the light we have to offer the world.
I often feel like maybe it would be easier to stoop to the level of other people and play their game. Living ethically is hard work! But no matter how tired and battered I may be at the end of the day I can still look at myself in the mirror and I think that's worth it. My hope is that my children learn to hush the world and listen to a whisper and recognize that there is a difference between the will of God and the choice of man.