Monday, April 04, 2011

Do You Ever Ask Yourself, "WHY NOT ME GOD?" When Tragedy Hits Others?

Early in her book, Going Rogue, Sarah Palin talked about life in her family being fairly joyous.  When a good friend of the family lost his arm in an accident at home, things had changed somewhat.  Listen to what she writes on p.24:
"Until then, I remember our family life being pretty idyllic.  No real tragedies.  No deaths among close family.  After Doc lost his arm, Mom and Dad explained to us that every family goes through struggles and times of testing.
"'We haven't really been through that yet,' Mom said in a gentle warning.
"That scared me at first.  But then she comforted me, saying, 'Maybe our challenge will be to care for other families who do.'"
Many of us are in the same boat as Palin's family was back in those days of her early childhood.  Yes, we have minor setbacks now and then, even a few little health issues, but generally speaking, we have been blessed and no major calamity has hit us, especially for those of us living in North America.  And yes, I have often asked that question, "Why not me God?" and thanked Him immediately after wards that it wasn't me.  Uttering that recognition that it could have been me or that God was sparing me at this moment from such a struggle, I believe helps prepare me for when God does allow something major to come my way for my own spiritual development and growth.

In the meantime, Sarah Palin has it right.  Maybe our challenge now is to care for others who are having major struggles.  Whether it is the single mother you know, or the family where the breadwinner is unemployed, or someone who is lonely due to the loss of a loved one, or whatever -- God is giving you and me a challenge today -- a challenge we can handle without pain.  It's a challenge we can face if we're willing to give up a little of our own privacy and time and resources.  And the opportunities are endless. 

Let us not take our comfort for granted. If you include emotional, psychological, physical, and social struggles, the advice of the Greek Philosopher Plato that Palin quotes in respect to this issue may well be good advice: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

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