This life Divine can be a trifle challenging. I am sure I am not alone in thinking this. What is that delightful saying, so often quoted? “God did not save you from drowning to beat you up on the beach.” That is it.
Well, many years of hearing it later, I am not sure I agree. In fact I would even go so far as to say I totally disagree. I feel somewhat beaten up. Beaten and beaten up being two totally different things. I can and will continue to fight. I am not beaten. But I would like a break. I would like it to be simpler. Of course there is the other delightful saying: “Be careful what you wish for”. Or “Don’t wish for an elephant if you have not got a garden big enough.” And then there is “Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans”. All highly amusing an ever so wry, but ultimately unhelpful. I don’t feel ever so helped right now. That does not signify a lack of faith, just a lack of help. The friend who never asks me how I am just called. As usual, it was totally about her. Fine, except the friend I love and adore has just gone to live far far away for ayear and does not communicate when not here. So I sat, alone, at the kitchen table, marvelling at the silence. I wondered if just lying on the kitchen floor for a while would help. I swept it first, just in case, and then thought better of lying on the floor. It was a momentary lapse. I have not been alone in the house for years. I realised I could do what ever I wanted and for an instant, that was what I wanted. It passed and I did the VAT instead. Do I feel better? No, but I feel less stressed.
Back to the delightful adages. I think that there is a God. yes I do. Inside and outside. The Soul and the larger version running Infinity and other tricky concepts. I am just not always finding myself sharing God’s sense of humour. I sat with a General or similar from the Salvation Army on Sunday. We were both on the same TV program. A rather odd affair called Heaven and Earth. Very Christian, but trying to be open minded. The charming blonde who interviewed me did nothing for other blondes, but the green room, where they host the chatees, had all of us sat together. Some were banned from talking to one another, but I could move freely amongst the priest, the man who runs an on-line poker site, the christian mother who home educates, the tame atheist and this shaven haired general from the Salvation Army. He started questioning me about the soul. As I had mentioned the soul, he felt I needed to explain to him what it was. He seemed to disagree that any of us had one or were worthy of having one as we, the human race, had not addressed world hunger. I found the shutters coming down. it is hard to argue with.
But I come back to the adages. Why any of the hideousness that some people have to go through? This was his question, too. I could not answer. It is the eternal question. Why do some people have a really horrid time in life? I mean those in Pakistan, where the earthquake happened, the Gaza Strip, the Sudan, Chernobyl. And then I think I am having a bad day. Sometimes it is so hard to get a perspective.
It is like the experiences around death that I have had recently. We are all so scared of it, yet it happens all the time, to all of us. Yet it is terrifying to come anywhere close. Yet why do we fight so hard to exist in the this place where there is death, war , famine, pollution, bills, congestion charge, television, shopping, earning a living. All these things that are so difficult to deal with. Why do we not welcome death with open arms?
I am not suicidal. So far, I have never gone there. But I still wonder why we fight so hard to stay here, and then don’t seem to learn from our mistakes. I tried to talk to a woman with cancer about this the other day. Just chatting about death in a cafe, like you do. She was not at all willing to entertain the idea that one could welcome a break.
I would like God’s sense of humour. I think it would make things easier.