Posts Tagged ‘fate’

Everything happens for a reason II

April 22, 2009

Or, “Everything happens for another reason.”

Bacchus, I hate that saying.  Really?  Everything?  I didn’t clean out my recycled jars well enough before I put loose-leaf tea in them, thereby making some nice oolong smell like roasted red bell peppers; what was the meaning in that?

I guess that was unnecessarily snarky. 

Meaning is nice, don’t get me wrong.  It’s arguably even necessary.  I try to make every day meaningful somehow.  But many Christians I know are just addicted to meaning, obsessed by the idea of Providence, and completely reliant on the idea that their god is watching over them and acting in their lives.

My husband is starting to suffer from depression.  I was telling him last night that I am recognizing the same symptoms that I had, and if I can help him somehow so that he won’t need anti-depressants as I did, then it will have been worth it.  He sortof chuckled and said he understands; he believes that bad things happen to people so that we can help others who are going through the same bad things. 

It’s like a chain of misery.

Seriously: how is that comforting?  Does that really help people get through suffering– the thought that someday, I will be able to help someone else– does that give meaning to the suffering?  Does it really help?  The thought that helped me was, “I don’t want to live like this.  I want to be happy and content.  I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”  If someone were to try to say to me that a god allowed me to suffer so that I could help someone else later, I would have asked if there was a suggestion box somewhere, or if god is planning to retire any time soon.  Being a tool for  a god doesn’t even ultimately benefit the other suffering person, either, because the point it always god’s glory. 

I suffer and god gets the credit.  Tell me again how that is comforting?

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Everything happens for a reason

September 12, 2008

I recently had to take action against a man raping and otherwise abusing my sister.  She had been scared to tell me but finally did, at the end of a three-day period I happened to have off from work.  I was glad to have had those days off!  How much longer would this have gone on if the timing of my days off had been different?

I was telling some of this to a friend who knows I am an atheist.  Of course she said, “See, everything happens for a reason!”

Are you saying that God introduced my sister to an abusive, manipulative rapist for the sole purpose of having me save her from said rapist?

And I thought the rapist was manipulative.

[And another thing!  You’re going to thank God because I chose to spend my time off with my sister?  Either you are a jerk for saying it or God is a jerk for demanding the credit for what I did.  Or there is no God.  QED! 🙂 ]

I need to have a better way to say that I can hardly be thankful to god for getting people out of trouble if god is the one who got them into trouble in the first place.  But then, bad things always get blamed on the devil or sin nature.  I guess I used to believe it too; that’s why I try to be gentle.  It would be hypocritical of me to be angry at people for believing the same things I once fell for. 

Or should I be blunt?  I wonder if I would have de-converted earlier if someone had shaken me and told me how ridiculous I was being.

Fate

August 29, 2008

Today I am wearing a little jade pendant that was a gift from a friend.  She bought it in China and told me about how jade is thought to bring good luck.  And while I’m not superstitious, I like a lot of the stories about which objects bestow which benefit or disaster.  (In other words, I like pretending that superstition is true.  Did you know that if you open your umbrella indoors, earthworms will fall from the ceiling??)  So I wear the jade because it was a gift, and because it is jade, and because it is lucky.

 

Luck, and chance, and fate are different, though the words are often used interchangeably– and “luck” is sometimes used as shorthand for “good luck.”

 

Chance is the roll of the die; things we can’t predict or understand why they happen.

 

Luck is how those chance events affect a particular person.  “I don’t believe in luck,” I’ve heard said, “but you sure have bad statistics.”

 

Fate is how it all ends up in the end.

 

It was by chance that I found the job posting and by skill that I got the job.  But were my skills predetermined by luck?  Was I just plain lucky that I was born with a love of learning, that I had various methods to fund and support my education, that I have no health issues?  Of course all those things are due to chance.  It’s due to chance that I was born at all.

 

Was I fated to be here, at this job, this marriage, this town, this house, wearing this dress?  Well, the fact that I am here speaks well enough to that question, doesn’t it?

 

Fate.  In a nutshell.  Or, in my jade pendant. 

 

I already wrote once about providence… I wonder why this keeps coming to mind.