Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | May 20, 2019

At What Point Do You Say “Enough Already”?

adult black and white darkness face Photo by Juan Pablo Arenas on Pexels.com

Yet another mass shooting, concerns of nuclear war, finger-pointing and assigning blame for political malcontent without looking inward, brick walls that hinder progress on social concerns, lack of respect for others’ rights to lawfully and peacefully protest injustices, etc. It never seems to end.

What can we all make of this, as people of faith or as non-churchy, yet concerned people? With a seemingly unending stream of awful or frustrating events, we need to find that right balance of spiritual answers and acknowledgment that those answers aren’t and probably shouldn’t be easy.

In my 20 or so years of formal church membership, I’ve come to realize that what falls under the heading of “religion” doesn’t always offer the answers we seek. Is this a bad thing? – far from it!

Without delving into an exhaustive history lesson, the “easy-peasy pat answers” approach to Christianity is relatively new in the philosophical realm. Many Catholic, Anglican, and early Protestant thinkers probably would have been just as disgusted with the “name it and claim it”, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, “We can’t talk about sin because it’s negative” thinking as many of us are.

As we see in a quote commonly attributed to William Temple, “The problem of evil…Why does God permit it? Or, if God is omnipotent, in which case permission and creation are the same, why did God create it?”

I think these are questions we shouldn’t be afraid to ponder. Our world is always rushing, it seems, and it’s easy to look to quick answers that offer little to no substance.

The Book of Job seems to exemplify how people often look at the various difficulties that come their way.  It’s easy to decide you need to search for answers, but it often seems a lot harder when there are no answers.

As one commentator once put it, the biggest takeaway he gets from the Book of Job and all recorded in it is “[Stuff] happens”. One of the most frustrating things about “stuff” is that there often seems to be no reason for all of it, and it’s easy to accept one of the “easy” answers, rather than struggle not finding answers.

We can and must do better. Maybe the answer to our struggles is that the answer isn’t WHY the difficulties happened, but WHAT we will do because of them.

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