September 12, 2010 7:40 pm EDT
Some days, life seems unfair. Some days life is cruel and harsh and just plain hard to take. It's easy to get discouraged when things go awry. We've taken the time to love ourselves, to pray, to reach out to another, and still, bad stuff happens. Why?
When we take a few steps back, we can come to realize that the why doesn't really matter. Could be some karmic event caused by some wrong we've done. Could be a lesson we need to learn. Could be some strange cosmic accident. Or perhaps since we share this world with lots of others, notwithstanding the fact that we're all one, the effect that we're experiencing is caused by someone else's karmic baggage.
Sometimes, the reason is obvious - we've harmed someone, we've not taken care of ourselves, we've been dwelling in misery, or one of lots of other reasons. Sometimes, the reason is not at all obvious. But, does it really matter what the reason is? Sure, it's good to be open to new learning and to be open to growth, but if we've taken a reasonable survey of our lives and our day and the reason isn't apparent, how useful is it to obsessively insist on understanding the cause of today's not-so-pleasant effect?
It's often helpful to take a step back and ask ourselves the question "how important is it?" In the grand scheme of things, today's mishaps and misfortunes, looked at from a distance, aren't really that big a deal.
I had a good friend and business partner a few years back who was fond of asking "is it devastating or merely unfortunate?" Most of us have indeed suffered a few devastating circumstances in our lives, the loss of a loved one, divorce, losing a job we've had for years, etc. But the daily things that go amiss obviously don't compare to those big devestating and life altering events.
So just how important is it? Is it devastating or just unfortunate? Is today's hardship going to seem important a few years from now? A few months?
The sooner we can find a little perspective, the sooner we can choose to surrender these things to God and choose to know that it's all for our good (even when it doesn't feel like it). The sooner we surrender, the sooner we'll back to some measure of peace, freedom, and joy.