It can take a long, long, long time to figure things out. The sermon in church this Sunday*, preached by the absolutely marvelous Stan Fornea, talked about this at length. Specifically the idea of mystery, and how we as Christians, and American Christians to boot, are problem-solvers: we don’t like dealing with the unknown. We like certainty and facts. We apply this to the religious sphere by attributing things to God that aren’t really God’s problem. As hard as it is to swallow, some stuff might just be completely random.
I think this is absolutely maddening and also delightfully freeing. To not have to ascribe meaning to a screw-up, a bad day, a good day, a human interaction, any of it – to not have to dig around in the dirt for some ultimate purpose – means we can throw up our hands, say “aw the hell with it,” and try again. Or not! Devoid of the suffocatingly cloying “everything happens for a reason” maxim, a fluke is just a fluke. You’re not destined for anything. We aren’t forced to give a damn. It’s kind of great.
“How come I end up where I’ve started? How come I end up where I went wrong?”
Who knows. But you get to decide whether, and how, you want to figure it out.
*Yeah, it says Luis Leon; it’s Rev. Fornea. Trust me. Also – you’ll have to trust me on this too – Rev. Fornea preached without notes. He’s amazing.