Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Everything happens for a reason"

Bullshit.

I know there are some people who very firmly believe in this principle. If you are one of these fine folks, you are welcome to it. I, however, do not share your belief.

Not sharing someone's belief in this core philosophy is akin to saying you don't like scrapple. "Oh, but you haven't had my scrapple," they say knowingly. Surely, if you eat their scrapple or listen to their testimony about how something awful happened to them, but in the end, it led to something good, surely then you will change your mind.

I am sure that I have been guilty of such things. Not saying that everything happens for a reason ... I had a brother who committed suicide two days before my 10th birthday, when he was 23. That kind of knocks those arguments right out of you.

But definitely, I can look back at many times in my life when something appeared to be bad, but it led to something good. Losing a job only to get a better one, wanting one thing, but getting something more right. And I know I have used these situations as examples to why someone shouldn't worry about their misfortune, but should be open to it being the start of something good.

But some things don't happen for a reason.

Okay, now that I have made myself perfectly clear on that point, I will now say that when one is in a situation -- any situation -- I think you should learn what you can, whether it's never order shrimp tacos in a roadside diner in Kansas or any of the many, myriad lessons from Little Warrior's battle with the big C.

Here's one such lesson. A huge "aha" moment for me.

Like many people, I have said, "Oh, you are so special, I could never do that," when referring to someone working in a potentially high-grief job. Hospice chaplain, pediatric cancer nurse, etc.

Aha moment this week: what an incredibly selfish thing to say.

Little Warrior's surgeon is apparently very good, very gifted. I say this not merely based on our experience, but also on all the comments I've heard about him.

So, what if he had decided, Oh God, I can't be a pediatric surgeon. It's too heartrending. It would eat me up.

She might not be alive. Or she might be on dialysis. Or, or, or ...

Each of us has a gift to give to the world. If it turns out that your gift involves ministering to dying patients, or working with sick children, or helping the incarcerated, then how can you say, "I can't. It's too painful."?

You can't. You have to get over it and get to it. Because you're the only person who can give the world your gift.

And if you think I'm preaching to myself, you're completely correct.

1 comment:

Anne said...

I like the preaching..and I am right there with you!