Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Does it All Mean?

Life is crazy. Life is unpredictable. This can be good, this can be bad, or anywhere in between.

Last year, my cousin was in a roll over accident, hit by someone who ran a red light. Miraculously, she walked away literally without a scratch.

Within a week of my cousin's accident, my friend was run over by a city bus while riding his bike. He's still recovering, but amazingly he lived to tell about it. His survival was a fluke...the way he fell saved him (not to mention that he was wearing a helmet!!!).

A few weeks ago, my cousin's mother-in-law had an aneurysm and died out of the blue.

Last week, my friend was driving along minding his own business when a six pound piece of metal flew through his windshield. He remains in critical condition and could really use lots of prayers and positive thoughts if you are so inclined.

Life offers no apologies or explanations. The nature of life is to NOT know. Is it all just random crap, or is there a higher purpose? Why does one person die, and another live? Why do thousands of people drive along the same stretch of freeway without incident, and one person is hit with a piece of flying steel? I'd like to think there is some kind of ultra complicated meaning behind all the madness. I'm also resigned to never knowing.

A hard fact of life is that bad things happen to good people. A million good deeds do not earn anyone immortality. Being a hardworking, loving husband and father does not mean anything to a piece of metal looking to make contact with something.

When bad things happen, people like to say "it's not fair." Fairness is an idea created and propagated by humans. What is "fair" to nature, to disease, to random freak accidents? In reality, there is no "fair." There is just life, which unfolds in its own way, in a manner that will forever be a mystery.

I don't exactly think that we're just along for the ride. We do have some control over how things play out in our lives. Every second of every day we're making choices that affect the quality of our existence. And our choices do have an impact on what happens to us. For example, choosing to get into a car or an airplane automatically increases the range of things that can happen to us. Choosing to never leave the house decreases that range.  Be safe, just in case, or be happy and live a full life, come what may. But know that even if you choose the be safe route, life is still unpredictable.

One of my favorite phrases I learned in French class oh so long ago: On ne sait jaimas. One never knows.

What I do know: Live. Now. In this moment. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. An hour from now is not guaranteed. Love. Now. In this moment. Another chance is not guaranteed.

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