While you sort out your emotions about the recent events in Ferguson, Mo, while you mull over the refusal of authorities to indict the policeman in the death of Eric Garner, while you mourn the death of a 12-year-old black boy who brandished a realistic toy gun in front of a jittery policeman, have you figured out yet that reality seems to make no sense.
It has recently been revealed that Timothy Loehman, the officer who shot the boy with the toy gun, was forced to resign from the Independence Ohio police department. His personnel records indicated, a "dangerous loss of composure during live range training" and an "inability to manage personal stress."
The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense. Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction. In our present day parlance, we are becoming all too familiar with words like “senseless tragedy,” “unexpected loss” and unbelievable act.”
For many, reality is an illusion, a giant cosmic trick, a horrible dream or nightmare from which one will eventually wake up. No wonder many of us go insane or are in therapy fighting to make sense of it all.
Presently, about 20 women are coming forth with rape allegations against legendary comedian Bill Cosby. If proven true, he would have broken faith with a woman who has loved him and stood by his side since 1964. He would forfeit his status as the #1 Dad in America and would destroy the trust and adulation of the public who worships and adores him.
Life, we are discovering, is not a fairy tale. It does not work out with the hero and heroine riding off into the sunset accompanied by strains of romantic music to a life of “happily ever after.”
Life can be messy and complicated.
Life involves struggles, pain, difficulty and hardship and, yes, we are not going to understand it all.
Furthermore, we have only one shot, no pun intended, to get it right.
Even Jesus told his disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.”-John 16:12.
What happened? Where did it all go wrong?
A clue is found in the Biblical story of the war in heaven between Lucifer and God. To fully grasp the insanity of the situation, you must be made aware of the former status of Satan. He was the most beautiful angel in heaven so much so that he was called the sun or star of the morning. He was second in command to God and conducted the heavenly choir. In short, he lacked nothing in this place of perfection, except the top spot. Consumed by this perceived inequity, he rebelled against the Almighty in a futile battle to overthrow the Creator of all things. Moreover he convinced a third of the heavenly host to join him in this losing endeavor. Consequently, he and his co-conspirators were evicted from paradise, thereby trading heaven and everything for hell and nothing.
Does that make sense?
Whenever there is more than one option or people are given a choice in anything, invariably we seem to choose the bad or worse one.
Ponder for a moment Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, the adultery of David with Bathsheba the wife of a faithful soldier, Solomon - the wisest man in the world who married foreign women who persuaded him to worship idols, a direct affront to Jehovah who, by his own personal admission, was his Lord and sole benefactor.
George Zimmerman was explicitly told not to follow Trayvon Martin and allow the police to handle the matter. He did not and we all know how that worked out.
Another clue to our madness lies in the statement of Jesus, “For you are the children of your father the devil and you love to do the evil things he does.” - John 8:44. Nurtured and controlled by a parent who is nuts, it stands to reason that his offspring will do wild and crazy things.
Brian Sheppard, 22, on probation for a previous infraction, was serving community service in the Florida Keys at Vineyard Community Church. You would think that in this place of second chances he would use this time to turn his life around. Instead, he exploited the opportunity to steal church property and pawn it. He now faces charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and fraud.
One day for our personal sanity and wellbeing, we will arrive at the realization that with our dystopian bent and mentality we can never create a utopian society and move on from there.
Until we give up our disobedient, sinful, lawless nature, the atrocities will continue - becoming more and more bizarre. We are prone to be swept away by drugs, AIDS and Ebola or other man made conditions. Jesus warned us that upcoming will be the tribulation, “the time of Jacob’s troubles” days of which we have never seen the like or will ever see again. Days that are so horrible and unforgiving that unless they are shortened no flesh will be saved.” - Matthew 24.
Nevertheless, in spite of all that has transpired, all that is happening and all that will occur in the future, we will persist along the destructive path. The apostle Paul says about us, “they are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice these things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve of them who do so.” Romans 1:29-33.
That makes no sense.
However, it is what it is. We cannot get bogged down and mired in trying to figure out the way of life and miss living out the meaning and purpose of life. You cannot afford to waste time on intractable problems, which you cannot comprehend or control. Do not put your life on hold worrying about Stephen Hawking’s inquiry, “I know the universe exists but I don’t know why.”
Life is not going to wait until it all comes together for you.
For those of us who are found in him, we will understand it by and by. To push against the maddening grain, what we can do is we conduct our lives according to the following faith principle: Heb. 11:1. Despite all the events surrounding you, if you are faithful, remain faithful still. You will begin to behave and see the world differently.
After each inexplicable act or insane deed, we must discipline our minds to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, start over with the steadfast determination and commitment of Job. If you recall, in one day this man Job - without explanation or warning - lost all of his many possessions and all of his children. His unnatural reaction to his unspeakable undeserved calamity still boggles the mind, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Finally, consider for a moment how a God would sacrifice his only son for inveterate sinners who did not care for him. He forsook the glory and splendor of heaven and descended to help a people hopelessly lost in darkness. His intent was to show them the way out to the marvelous light - to a place of love, mercy and forgiveness.
The beginning of his life was a portent of his adulthood. Just as they found no room for him at the inn, they would find no room for him in their hearts.
Guess what? They crucified him.
To add insult to injury, while he was on the cross they mocked and reviled him even gambling for his clothes in front of his disconsolate mother.
In the throes and midst of agony, imagine his response to these despicable creatures, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
That really makes no kind of sense!
V. Knowles is a husband and father with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.