Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hey, What's Goin' On? It's Hot!!!

102 degrees? Are you kidding? O cosmos, you are thwarting me again! How dare you?? This is...this is an...inconvenience!

In spite of all I’ve been through, I still expect life to be easy. Any difficulty that comes along seems like an imposition. It’s not fair! We were going to go to a ball game! Suffering? Grumble, grumble, grumble. O sure, I wrote a book about suffering (), but it doesn’t mean that I like it. Whatever eloquence my words may possess, I have as much trouble as anyone remembering the value of suffering in daily life. I am positively a wimp when it comes to suffering, or any inconvenience for that matter. And I am put off by it. Life is supposed to be easy: that is the deeply rooted mentality in me (and others, I expect).

Part of it is that so many material aspects of life have come under our "control," and thus seem "easier." So we are tricked into thinking we can avoid suffering because--for example--I can do something my ancestors never dreamed of: on a sweltering hot day, I can control the temperature of my house to 72 degrees. Heat? No problem.

Just think of how we live! Think of what you do every time you turn on a light switch. If the ancient Greeks were transported to our time, they would worship us as gods. We live like gods!!!

But then, after a while, they would wonder: "why do they live like gods, but work like slaves?"

Indeed, we exhaust ourselves in labors and cares in order to secure our easy life, in order to protect ourselves from suffering. Underneath the surface of our ease and comfort there is the yawning abyss of anxiety. There is a desperation that is frightful, and that we do everything we can to ignore.

What would I do if the air conditioning broke down right now? I would freak out.

It doesn’t help to know theology. All that does is give me a deeper awareness of what a jerk I am.

Something more is needed, and I have spoken about it often on this blog. The truth is that the Mystery carries me with great delicacy, in all my pathetic weakness.

I am amazed by this Gentleness. It is a gift beyond anything I deserve.

1 comment:

Allison said...

John: Love this post. We are in a heat wave here, too, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 102!