Friday, September 02, 2005

162. Good and bad


Someone asked, on another online forum where I hang out, what I thought was God's role in the world, especially in light of Hurricane Katrina. A friend and reader of this blog suggested I post my answer here. I'm not sure this says it exactly, but trying to distill my belief system into a few sentences was a good exercise:

"Wow, that's a big question. I've been thinking about it a lot over the past few years, and am not really able to articulate my own personal theology, but here goes anyway. I guess I believe that God is in all of us, all the time. (Sometimes articulated in Jewish literature as "we are all holy beings"). I can't even pretend to define my own understanding of God in any more depth. That good and bad things happen have nothing to do with any reward or punishment from God. They just happen. That's life--and God. I recently read, somewhere, that all cultures have a concept of "right" and "wrong"--this seems to be a universal human understanding. I believe that our predilection as human beings is to seek the good, which is why we are compelled to form communities and live together--if not, we would still be in a state of chaos, without any concept of cooperation or society. And I belive that our following the "good" impulse is God's intention for us. But the "bad"--war, killing, software piracy, etc.--is also part of us, as well. And is as equally God's doing as the good. Our task as humans is to learn to distinguish one from the other, and try to make this world as fair and pleasant a place for all people and creatures to live in, which shows respect for and honors the holiness in each of us."


In other news, the cantor called yesterday. (I am, without fail, always on another line when he calls. I get very flustered and have to put him on hold while I get rid of the other person, whose business, no matter what it is, will never be more important than the cantor's.) He asked if I could learn an additional service--either one whose melodies I already know, or one with different melodies. He'll decide soon. I hope "soon" means next week. Or sooner.


~Jan said...

I have dealt a lot with the question of "why" in my own life, when struggling with family tragedy. I've come to appreciate the wise words of a friend, who said that I was asking the wrong question. It is not "why", but "what will I do now? How will I react? And will I continue to honor God with my life?" As always, thanks for your posts.

alto artist said...

That really says it all, beautifully and simply. Thank you so much.

alto artist said...

Thank you for clarifying--and I think I understood what you meant initially, too. You're so right; it's how we use what God gives us that really counts. And I guess weather is indeed like the free will of human beings, created by God but also following its own path. It all just makes me marvel even more at the miracle of our existence.