Veiled envy

Life is unfair. Is God fair? No. But he is generous.

This probably is the most honest, point blank sermon I have heard in years. It is quite distant from the usual romanticism of priests of God's love. I think many of us have found ourselves in situations wherein we question God of the sheer unfairness, and absurdly tipped scales of life. Often we experience a deep seated kind of envy for the good things that others have that we think we also deserve.For example, how many people would want to change places with a beggar? a cancer-stricken patient? or perhaps a food scavenger? Well the usual target of these green-eyed moments would be the well-off, beautiful rich people who basically do nothing with their lives. I mean, I myself have questioned God why I had to endure things that in the end would only reward me with the same things that the next guy didn't even have to lift a finger for.

I think it all boils down to our concept of justice. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Likewise we expect that when we do good, or exhibit goodness beyond belief, God should or must have that kick to at least compensate us for what we have done. Often a favorable event is attributed to a good act immediately preceding the blessing. But I think, after hearing the sermon today, that it is not God's responsibility to reward us for doing what is right. He is after all, God. I think the best way to start an envy free life would be to accept that life is unfair. And it would never be fair. (well that was tough to say). Instead of counting the things we don't have, it would be better to count the things that we don't have that we didn't wish for in the first place. Each one of us is blessed in an unfair kind of way and that is what makes each one special. It is easier said than done though. Perhaps if you were born scavenging food from the dumpster and another rich pig is born throwing food from the table, one would think that there must be something deeply wrong with life. But God is generous with ways that may not exactly coincide with our concept of generosity. I think for the things we actually lack, God compensates it with things that we may or may not percieve as blessings. Actually I don't know how God does the math, but I believe in whatever he is up to. I just hope I get to understand how my life is a part of his Grand plan, so things would be easier to accept.

Yes my thoughts are running in circles. We all have our days. :)


Anonymous said...

Someone once said to me that people believe god as a means of escaping from their troubles. Not surprising considering that the unfairness in this world can depress even the most steadfast of us. As absurd as the concept of god may be to some, it is undeniable that the belief in god has saved many of us from ending our own lives. Looking at all this, it seems that believing in god is a good thing. I just hope that more people look for alternative reasons not to commit suicide. Such reasons could be those that are not inherited, nor manufactured by the mind from faulty premises, but reasons that have solid foundations.

The person that told me such words about god is my philosophy professor. She started out as a devout Catholic who goes to church every Sunday and who supplements her spiritual diet with many religious activities. After much frustration with the BS surrounding Catholicism, she converted to Born Again Christianity. After much frustration with a lot of things including religion itself, she is now a proud Zen Buddhist.

It is interesting to note that the more one exercises one's thought, the more clearly one sees through the BS that purports to play a significant role in our lives.