When I fell off the ship taking me into the expected comfort zone of a successful career and the associated secure and respected life, no one shouted ‘Man overboard.’ I myself did not immediately become aware of my predicament. Yet, I somehow survived the raging metaphorical sea. I was eventually ‘washed’ onto a rocky shore of a land where I was not welcome.
When I stood on the firm soil of this land, I shook my fist in the direction of the sky, and said ‘To hell with you!’ All those attendances at the temple, and all my prayers had been in vain. However, when I think back in time, I doubt if anyone up there had heard my parting shot.
I could therefore understand the bitter anger of a religious man whose teenage daughter had died of a disease. He asked his priest why his daughter had to die, just when life was about to open up for her. When the priest said, among other words of comfort, “It is God’s Will,” the man lost his temper, swore at the poor priest and, as he said to me, left the church.
Against that, a relative of mine attributes his great career success to the large number of coconuts he had broken at his temple. He had actually kept count!
Are the above events just random events? Could my relative have been ‘promised’ by a seer that success would land at his door if he broke a certain number of coconuts? Strangely, similar guidance has occurred elsewhere. Was there possibly an intervention by God? But then, does God actually intervene?
At an ecumenical Christian men’s breakfast in my district, after a brief discussion as to whether God’s Grace has to be earned, the lay priest present said that God’s Grace has to be earned, but that God can choose to bestow it! Nothing more was said. So, God has free will in the way we hope we do.
I now question whether we rightly involve God in the trivia of our lives, death and disaster possibly being chance occurrences in the grand order of events in the Universe.