One of the best books written about coping with suffering and pain and impending death is Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book, “When Bad Things Happen To Good People.”
The book was triggered because the Kushner’s son had the ill-fated disease, progeria, which means the physical body in a 14 year old son is that of an 80 year old. Kushner writes how prayer was more than conversation with God. His book offers how faith and relationship with God has endearing and enduring purpose.
The only twinge to that is the book title—at least my take. What I have found is that people live with the “belief” that if you are good something bad won’t happen. That is true for some. I’ve had people literally curse God because they got cancer, “What is up with God? I’ve never not been faithful. Why does God do this to me? I’m good.”
My view, not without its limitations, is that God is not agency for cancer…or someone running a red light…or being promised a position and have it ripped away from you.
So. What about God? And prayer?
In the last blog I mentioned that I never prayed for victory, because I do not believe God wears the color of any team. I believe God only wears the color of love…that means God is faithful and merciful. And we are imperfect.
Even more, I believe prayer is a way to affirm God…and to know in the heart of hearts [aka soul] that God is…that God is with us.
That brings one primary result: In prayer there is centering. There is focus. There is a purpose: to be the best I can be. I would never goal to be the best. I would only goal to be my best.
At whatever it is. Yes. I want to be my best in casting for salmon [That happens in a few days.]. I want to be my best in shopping groceries. I want to be my best in walking with Faith and Caleb. That is not being frenetic. It is, at least in my perhaps myopic view, being passionate and enthused. And it makes sure I don’t have an energy-by-pass.
So, in each instance…the purpose in being good is not to get missed by anything that is negative. Negative happens. The purpose of being good is because that, at least in my view, is the way in which we find life’s greatest meaning. And I hope and trust…brings God a smile and not a frown.