Monday, July 30, 2012
I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?’ So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
– J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5 “A Late Delivery from Avalon”)
I was thinking about this quote today as I was walking. My walking partner was out, so I was listening to my mp3 player and trying not to think too much, which is when I mentally stumbled upon the remains of the above quote floating around my brain.
Then I come back to my desk to discover that Janiece has been paralleling some of my thoughts.
It’s strange, but I DO take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. The idea that ‘things happen for a reason’ fills me with horror. The very thought of it is repugnant to me: that God would be dealing out bad things and causing people–especially innocents–to suffer. I cannot accept the existence of such a being.
But if God set things into motion and then stood back to allow us to sort things out, much the way a parent must allow a child to make their own mistakes and live their own lives? That makes sense to me. That a God exists who allows us to make our own choices, even if those choices are bad, that makes sense to me. That God allows us to OWN our choices, be they good or evil, positive or negative or even neutral.
God did not create me broken. It is simply random chance. But within that I have the choice to overcome my brokenness or not. Some days I have the strength to do so, other days I don’t. But that’s okay. I think that God accepts me on the days I am broken as much as she accepts me during the times I am able to overcome. That kind of love gives me hope.
We all make our own choices, and we must live with the results of those decisions. But we are not immutable–we can change. We have the capacity to make decisions for good instead of evil, and that act of will fills me with hope.
Every time someone chooses to do good over evil, every time we witness a small kindness given without thought of reward, every time we overcome adversity… all these things fill me with hope.
It’s okay that the universe acts with general hostility and unfairness, because this hostile universe gives us the ability to act in a positive way. And when we choose to act to make the world a better place, all acts, be they large or small, fill me with hope.
It is this hope that gives me comfort.