life, hamsters, and purpose.

Roborsky hamsters

when it rains. it rains. when someone calls out of the blue after 10 years of silence. they call. when someone gets hits by a car. they get hit by a car. we don’t put these events down on our calendar and plan around them. we don’t sit down one day and plan our nights out based on the earthquake that is going to come on the same day as our night out. we plan our night out without knowing it will happen. we aren’t in control of that. we aren’t in control of a lot of things. our culture says we should be. half of the commercials on television are trying to show us ways to slow down the age-ing process. and the other ones are feeding into our paranoia for the large gaping hole inside. i may believe that god might have something to do with that hole, but not as most people might think. i don’t think it has to do with sin either. i think its there so we can grow. i think the hole is the need to have a purpose for everything we do. some people have found a way to make sense that the hole is there because god put it there. yet, jesus (who showed us god in the flesh) didn’t need people. or as renowned jewish author abraham herschel once said, “…it is god who has a man-shaped hole.” i am not sure that humanity needs god like a cancer patient needs chemotherapy. i used to. but, i think once we come to realize that god is here for us to realize we can be like him, i think that is the journey to discover that the whole is a need for things to have a purpose. because god has a purpose. because god created with a purpose. and so when things happen ‘without reason’ we try our hardest to make sense of them. we need a reason and a purpose for the hell’s we might go through. because if we don’t, then life becomes meaningless. well, at least that’s what we have been taught. but what if the need for an explanation or the desire to find a purpose behind everything is at the root cause of why some (not all) of these events occur. we tend to want to know why things happen, so we can control them. our drive for a sense of purpose, in the first instance, might not have a divine derivative. it might be trying to control the earth, one another, god, and ideologies. so, is purpose important? if the reason why we want to know why things happen (and there are a lot of example of this going on in the world — weather stations, medical research and etc.) is so we can find ways to control or manipulate them then the purpose is already ill-fitted toward that experience. but if we are curious because we want to learn or discover well, than that’s a whole different story all together. this isn’t to say that we don’t to know, it is a reframing on the reasons why we want to know. for example, when Job is asking God questions, it seems at times, he is asking not because he cares about the response, but because he hopes the response will heal his pain. and this latter desire is what i am dealing with here. the moment we think life is nothing more than some contraption to figure out is the moment the beauty of it slips out the back door and the the desire for purpose will cloud all we say and do on the journey. i wish i had an easier more dissolvable response to this, but when it comes to certain aspects of life, it is simply out of our control. out of our hands and slips through our fingers. the need for the answer distracts us from the moments we could be having. yes, life can be all together frustrating and even soul-destroying at times, but if we forget one of the many reasons we are here is to enjoy the life before us, well, then (at that moment) life has and might become a series of cogs in a wheel of circular monotonous motion. and unlike the hamster, there is no viable exit. but we aren’t created to be hamsters, we are created to be humans who discover the divine without and within. may the journey take you whereever it needs to.

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