Happy Sunday morning, y’all. I’m not sure what we’re going to do today. I was giving some thought to going on post and seeing the rug guy, who lives in Wiesbaden, but usually sells his rugs in Stuttgart. We bought a rug three weeks ago, thinking we would replace one of the ones in the living room that Arran repeatedly peed on. But the guy didn’t have the pattern of rug we needed, and the one we ended up buying was a size too small. The rug guy is in Wiesbaden this weekend, so this would be the time to go.
It’s raining again today, though, and I’m kind of not wanting to venture out. I know I should, because I really do need to get out more. I just don’t feel like getting dressed. I’d rather hibernate with my latest book. Some travel blogger I am these days… I think COVID-19 lockdowns might have ruined my sense of adventure.
Given that it’s Sunday, I thought it might be a good time to write about today’s topic. I often see people praising God for things, claiming that God has somehow blessed or gifted them. The Duggar family is famous for claiming that God had blessed them with many children, as if they were flowers. Wonder what kind of flower Josh Duggar is…
I’ve heard Michelle Duggar say things like “Saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers.” And Jim Bob says things like “Every child is a gift from God. We will keep receiving as many gifts as God wants to send us.”
And while I’m not an atheist, I do sometimes wonder, whenever I read or hear these things. Is it really God sending you gifts, blessing you, saving you, or smiling on you? Or are you just lucky, hardworking, very fertile, or shameless in your willingness to ask for a discount or a freebie?
Don’t get me wrong. I like to think that God had something to do with some of the good things I have in my life. And maybe there have been times when I console myself when things go wrong, telling myself that it was God’s will. I try to tell myself that whatever bad thing happened is just setting me up for something better in the future. But is it, though? Or what if God is actually preparing you for something worse? We all have a “time” to go, right? We all encounter a time when, even if we are true believers, God won’t save or protect us.
Life is kind of absurd. People often do whatever works for them. I look at how and where I met my husband. I never, in a million years, would have guessed we would have found each other in the way we did. It’s hard not to think there wasn’t some kind of divine hand that brought us together, or at least fate. Not only did we meet in a completely unexpected way, but we are also very compatible. It’s crazy that we get along as well as we do. We’re like puzzle pieces.
If you know me offline, you might understand why I make that statement. I have kind of an idiosyncratic personality. Some people like me. A lot of people can’t stand me… or that’s how it seems, anyway. I tend to be outspoken, and some people seem to think I’m too full of myself. Other people think I’m a silly twit. Those people don’t actually know me very well, but most of them also never gave me a chance. Maybe it’s better that way. I find that I have some friends who are genuine, rather than a lot of fake people claiming to be genuine friends.
Recently, Bill and I had a conversation about how I’d like to travel more. Maybe I’d even take trips by myself, like I used to before we were married. Bill says he’d be okay with it, but I can tell he doesn’t like the idea. Truth be told, I’d rather travel with Bill. But he has to work, and takes work trips frequently. So I stay home and tend to the house and the dog(s). Bill’s therapist recently pointed out that his relationship with me was probably the most stable one of his life. It’s understandable that Bill doesn’t want to lose me. Of course, I don’t want to lose myself, either… and sometimes I wonder if I have, when I stay home and watch life pass. Maybe he’s afraid that God wouldn’t protect me as well as he does. 😉
This morning I saw someone post about the Boston Marathon Bombing. It happened almost exactly ten years ago– on April 15, 2013. We were living in North Carolina, preparing to move to Texas for our year there. The person who posted wrote that she had run the marathon and, in spite of having a bum foot and jet lag (she’d flown over from Germany), she kept running. She finished the marathon just five minutes before the bombing occurred. If she had been any slower, she might have been injured or killed.
She praised God for protecting her. I guess I can understand that thinking. After all, Bill was in the Pentagon on 9/11, and his office had just been moved the week prior. Had it not been relocated, he probably would have died that day, and I’d be an old spinster. Was it God that protected Bill that day? Or was he just very lucky? Was God protecting the marathon runner, or did she simply avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like millions of other people who didn’t die that day?
And what of the people who did die or get hurt? Was God NOT protecting them? Were they being punished? Was it just their time to die? Or was it simply the work of evil people with no respect for other people’s lives?
I truly don’t know the answers. I think it’s comforting to give it up to God, but common sense tells me that’s fallacious thinking at work. I inherited my mother’s pragmatic side. When I was a child, I had a really great imagination, mainly because I spent a lot of time alone. Whenever I came up with something really silly or fantastic, my mom would laugh. I don’t know why she was like that, since she is herself a very creative and artistic person. She makes beautiful music and creates incredible works of art with her needles– knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and other such things. She is also a lifelong Christian, although not a particularly devout one. She always went to church, but it was mainly because she was the church’s organist most of the time.
My dad was notably stronger in his Christian beliefs, I think… however, I think my mom is a better person than he was. Or, at least she was less abusive to me. He seemed to be more of a believer than she was, anyway… although I always suspected he used church for a social outlet and business purposes, as well as a place to show off his singing voice. He was very proud of it, and church was one place he could indulge his pride. As we know, some “Christians” don’t always really behave in a Christ-like way. Some might say that I’m not one to talk about that; but then, I don’t claim to be a super devout Christian myself.
I’m grateful when people I know manage to escape things like bombings, natural disasters, crime scenes, or other situations. I don’t know that I would necessarily credit God, though… because why would God choose certain individuals to save, while others are forsaken? And why would a loving, protective God allow such horrors to take place in the first place? Where was God when Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were making and planting their pressure cooker bombs? Where is God when anyone decides to do evil things? Why is it that God is there when someone is “saved”, but not when someone falls down the dark rabbit hole that causes them to do such awful things?
I’m sure there are devout Christians out there who can confidently answer my questions. However, I’m not sure I would be satisfied what they’d tell me. I’ve probably already considered their answers. Usually, what they say is something along the lines of “It was God’s will” or “God needed another angel” or something like that. I don’t blame them. Those thoughts are comforting. I do it myself when I lose a dog and think of them going to the Rainbow Bridge, joyfully meeting all of my other long lost animal friends.
When we lost Arran last month, I was grateful to God that he had a relatively peaceful end… and was pretty active up until the last twelve hours of his life. But maybe he was just very lucky… as were Bill and I to have him in our lives in the first place… as is Noyzi to no longer live on the streets of Pristina, but instead getting to live a cushy life in Germany with Americans. The odds were surely against Noyzi having that life, right?
Hmmm… maybe God had something to do with it, after all. Who knows?
Well, I think I’ll stop dwelling on today’s deep thoughts and move on with the day. That may simply mean retiring to my bedroom and reading more of my latest book, hoping not to fall asleep. 😉