Recently my 12-year-old daughter came home with a book she had borrowed from a friend. It was called The Fault In Our Stars. I skimmed through it and told her to return it to her friend, that she wasn’t quite ready to take on the themes in the book, it was just too mature for her (which, of course, she took the wrong way!). The language is a little too dicey, the relationship themes are more appropriate for an older teenager, etc. That’s pretty much my job, right? To keep life from knocking my kids down before they are ready to handle what comes next. To keep her innocent just a little bit longer.
Everyone has hardships in life that can leave them questioning their next move, their faith, their purpose, even their eternal identity. If you experience something devastating, what does that say about God? That He doesn’t care about you, that the deck is stacked against you, that life is just some cosmic joke or biological accident and that we are the punchline?
I believe that hardships say more about the HUMAN condition than about GOD’S condition. These “clay vessels” we reside in are complicated, delicate, breakable. This world we live in caters to the flaws and foibles of the clay vessels, and all of our bodily cravings and desires can be satisfied on a whim. The steel cages we zoom around in at 65 miles per hour can’t stop on a dime. Something we eat, drink or inhale can react to our chemistry in ways that can cause us sickness. Some of us believe that we are temporary beings, that our purpose is served on this plane, in this existence, alone. That we live and die and become fertilizer, and that’s all she wrote.
I believe that we are Eternal Beings, created through the mercy of a real God. That our souls are contained in these clay vessels for a very short time and then we are released, to live eternally in whatever condition we have gained by our compassion and mercy – or lack of it. So my personal philosophy is – when life kicks you in the pants, put on shorts. When life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars…just LOOK at them! There are no faults in those stars. They represent light, and depth, and unmet goals, and dreams in the ether. They represent the perfect bodies we will attain at the end of our journey. They represent hope!