Apr 3, 2009

On Human Hearts, God, and Making Sense of the Senseless

I am beyond tired at this moment, which happens to be almost midnight at the end of an especially long week. The particulars related to my exhaustion are irrelevant, but I note my tired state only to place in context my upcoming questioning. You see, I am in one of those existential places where I find myself wondering if God really exists - really exists - or whether He really pays much attention to what happens on this planet.

"It's just the sleep deprivation," you might say, that is responsible for my dark mood. Of course, it could be the news about the laid off IBM worker who killed 14 people today in New York, or the fact that my 4-month-old niece continues her tenuous grip on life.

But for the moment, I have little faith that God actively participates in what happens on the planet.

Perhaps after some rest the world will make more sense, and perhaps then I will understand why English language students like Zhanar Tokhtabayeba suddenly find themselves facing a psychotic killer wielding semi-automatic handguns. Maybe in the morning I will understand why the heart of a four-month-old baby can be so problematic, while the heart of an overweight 45-year-old like me - someone who used to smoke, who drank too much, and who eats fatty foods like it is his full time job - why this heart keeps ticking away despite my efforts to weaken it through unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Now, I am not saying I want to go to the Great Beyond, at least not yet, but what sense is there in a four-month-old baby struggling to keep her beat while people like me routinely abuse our hearts and wake up every morning just to abuse the blasted organ some more?

Yes, maybe this will make sense in the morning, but I suspect I will still have my doubts.


Mad Jack said...

Yes, God is real. I've got proof that satisfies me beyond any doubt. I wouldn't expect anyone else to accept my own evidence as conclusive proof, but it's enough to satisfy me.

Yes, the Lord pays attention to everything on the planet, as well as keeping track of everything in the rest of the universe. He's like that.

I don't know exactly why Columbine style shootings take place, although I would think that complete loss of all hope for cessation of pain plays a large part. I know the evil one likes it.

Your heart is large, Mike. By your actions you have generosity, compassion and faith, and you have done good works in the past. Clearly, you are meant to continue along this route. I can pray for you and see about getting you a little extra ecclesiastical help.

dr-exmedic said...

It's really the height of hubris to think that God meddles in human affairs on a regular basis, so, unfortunately, we're more-or-less on our own. Is God (or gods) keeping track of things here? Certainly. Is God intervening in things? Rarely.

There's still a lot of good in the world, though, Mike. Try not to be blinded to it--it's not newsworthy because it's the norm, it kind of sits there in the background.

historymike said...

Thanks, MadJack. My doubts did clear some by morning, even after learning that my infant niece lost her battle to come back from open heart surgery.

historymike said...

Good advice, dr-exmedic, on avoiding getting weighed down with the negative.

Helenwheales said...

So many of us search for meaning and an understanding of what seems so senseless and so wrong.

It may be of little solace, but despite the terrible, the tragic,and the downright unfair, I no longer question the existence of God. I find comfort in the Jesuit ideal that "Christ is in all things." We need look no further than the photo of that beautiful child to see that.

I hope that in time your sadness lifts and that you will keep good memories of this baby.

historymike said...

Thanks, helenwheales. My momentary wee hours discouragement the night of this post has passed, and while I am not speaking in tongues or doing holy handstands, I am more at peace with God now. While Elena's death still does not make sense, I am past my existential agnosticism of ten days ago.