I probably don’t have to remind you that we are not only impacted by people in our lives, but rather there are so many forces that can swoop down at any moment to take away all that we have, including our lives, whether it be forces of nature, such as Hurricane Sandy, or forces of unintended secondary and tertiary consequences of human action, systems, or machines.  So many of the devices we make in our various factories around the world end up taking our lives or maiming us in home, workplace, or public accidents.  I remember the Gotthard Tunnel fire of October 2001 in Switzerland that claimed the lives of 11 and injured many more.  I’m sure that the dying or injured from that day’s accident had no idea that they were about to face tragedy.  We try to determine all the possible outcomes, repercussions, or permutations, but there is always something in life that happens unexpectedly, even to the smartest of us.  This is why insurance companies have prospered in the modern age.  We expect the unexpected and are trying to soften the blow before it hits us.  But, unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid the influence of the unforeseeable no matter how hard you try.  To encapsulate the futility of trying to foresee and control “fate,” I offer up a humorous and ironic anecdote. If you’ve ever watched the “Tonight Show,” you know that Jay Leno always starts the show, in the tradition of Johnny Carson, with a topical monologue about whatever is relevant in culture that day.  As I was watching one night, he made an excellent joke about the bankruptcy announcement of one of the companies that offer psychic services.  As Mr. Leno humorously quipped, “They should have seen this coming.”

We are told in Lamentations 3:22 that “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not.”  I’m always amused at the rhetorical challenge of unbelievers to explain why, if God is so loving, that bad things happen to good people.  This statement is wrong on two levels.  First, there is the assumption that the people facing these hypothetical tragedies were good people.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10 that “there is no one righteous, no not even one.”  People that assume there are good people around them are naïve, gullibly accepting as fact the facades that most put up to cover their true inner selves. Or they assume without evidence based on the foolish humanist notion that we are all inherently good inside.  When left to our own devices, though, without active training and without connection to God, we tend to devolve to our very worst possible behavior.  In William Golding’s famous novel Lord of the Flies, the fictional characters, a group of boys stranded on a deserted island without adult supervision, devolve into a vicious, amoral pack.  This is the story of dystopia, of how we can become savages when taken outside of civilizing influences.  This tendency, however, is not just fictional.  The infamous story of the Donner Party shocked 19th century America as this group, trapped and isolated in the mountains during winter, resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. 

So, the very suggestion that we are good is false at its root.  When we look at the second fallacy of the rhetorical question about bad events, if we are not good, then we cannot assume that we deserve good things.  This is very simple moral reasoning which will find affirmation in our consciences and hearts.  Good begets good, bad begets bad.  Those that are good deserve good things, and those that are bad, earn bad things.  If the human heart is desperately wicked as the Bible tells us (Jer. 17:9), and if absolutely no one is good as noted above, then none of us deserve good things in life.  Not only do we not deserve good things in life, but despite our prideful assumptions, the normal, usual default of life is to receive bad things.  The world is sin-cursed from the Garden of Eden as we remember from Genesis.  From Genesis 3:17, the very ground was cursed such that Adam, representing humankind, would always be forced to work for his bread through difficult struggles.  This curse on the ground can be interpreted to be a curse on all of the universe.  It can be seen in the very laws of nature such the known laws of thermodynamics.  The principle of entropy tells us that all energy lapses to its lowest state.  It does not rev up, wind up, or charge up on its own.  In any given situation, without intervention, energy will ALWAYS revert to a negative, less-active state.  And since we have discovered through Einstein’s theories that energy and matter are interchangeable, then this principle equally applies to matter.  Matter simply does not move to higher states of order or improvement without external intervention.  You know this if you have ever owned anything.  Our houses need painting and repairs over time.  Our automobiles require repair.  Everything decays.

 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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