I may just fail at this “give up expectation for Lent” thing. I realized I have some fundamental expectations from Life. I expect to live in a world where a 10 meter wave can’t rise up without warning and devastate my world. I expect to live in a world I can go to my local Publix on a Saturday morning to pick up doughnuts – and by happenstance discover my local elected official speaking and shaking hands – and leave the store without getting shot and killed by a lunatic. I expect to live in a world where foster parents or adoptive parents don’t punch and beat their children to death, douse them in pesticides and leave on the side of the road dead. Do I have unreasonable expectations of this Life?
I live in that world. A man filled with hate or delusions or both can set a muzzle of a handgun against a woman’s head in a large group of people and shot her….and then shout dozens more. I live in a state where a husband and wife adopt a set of twins only to murder the sister and almost murder the brother. I have to think those twins would have been better off in an orphanage or on the streets than in a home that gave the illusion of loving and caring for them. I live on a planet where the earth shakes for FIVE STRAIGHT minutes and the ocean rises up three stories into the air and demolishes an entire country at the speed of a jet liner.
This is my nonsensical, illogical, unpredictable world. How can we possibly makes any sense of it? How can I have expectations? And so we turn to our faith, right? Yet, faith doesn’t explain this! This madness is what shakes our faith; it makes me shake my fist in anger at this world He created. Are these things truly necessary to teach us? To bring us closer to our faith? Or, shall we blame it on the evil Archangel Lucifer, that cosmic badboy who thrills in destruction and the the breaking of human spirits?
My only response is a pale, anemic shrug and a deep sense of guilt for having it so easy (even if I think at times I have it so shitty). What the hell do I have to be complaining about? Seriously! What in my little fishbowl world can measure against a person who got slammed by a Tsunami and survived? It is a fine, good, blessed day just to be alive, for my sons to be alive and healthy, to have my own health, to have a roof over my head and electricity and no fear of radiation poisoning. It is a good , fine blessed day to have clothes and shoes beyond what’s on my body. It is a fine, good, blessed day to have food in my tummy and not be standing in a ration line for cans of tuna. It is a fine, good, blessed day and I can expect one definite thing from myself today…I am not gonna whine or bitch or moan or lament ANYTHING….for a long while. And if I do….I will not hesitate to remind myself that I need to shut up and be thankful. I wasn’t murdered by my parents, shot in the face by a stranger or pummeled by a supernatural tidal wave. Nothing….NOTHING…absolutely NOTHING at this moment in my life can eclipse those things. In this circumstance….stress is NOT relative. I don’t get to be a cry baby, not now. Not for a long while.