A country song on the charts today describes one man’s response to another’s problems. The problems are real! His wife’s car is falling apart, the washing machine has died, and they have had to put her mother in a nursing home. On top of that, their baby is cutting teeth, he is not getting much work, and his wife is pregnant. His response is blunt.
“It sounds like life to me.”
In recent days, I have listened and experienced life’s harsh realities. There is real heartache emerging from being separated from those you love. It is painful and debilitating to deal with uncertainties in your work and community. It is numbing to grabble with life threatening disease and changes. Death appears with an irreversible finality that one never accepts with ease.
I do not know how anyone lives comfortably with one aspect. When multiples hit, it is overwhelming. Those with faith struggle to believe and cope. Each wonders if it is possible to continue. Answers are in short supply.
With my gray hairs, I wish I could offer answers. I have none. I would observe that the problem is now new. Centuries ago, “a young man named Eutychus was sitting in an open window. As Paul went on and on, Eutychus fell sound asleep and toppled out the third-story window. When they picked him up, he was dead.” (Acts 20.9) An innocent became a victim of circumstances. Whatever I might think, the situation was the same then as it is now. Life can be cruel.
My second observation is echoed in the country song. Life comes with a full range of emotions. Everyone is touched in time. The superficial question is never if, only when. The real question that you and I must struggle with is in the moment at hand. How will I move forward?
Will it be alone or with others?
Will I fight was is or strive to do something positive in the context of the now?
Will I be a force for making the world a better place?
The answers define life.