Friday, September 19, 2008

The Beauty of Suffering

I believe we all make choices every day about our commitment and dedication to relationships. And that goes for all relationships, whether they be romantic, family, or with friends. We can choose to have deep meaningful relationships, or more simple and less intimate ones. And the deeper our relationships go, the deeper our understanding of that person goes, and consequently we experience more harmony, satisfaction, love, and connection with that person. I believe God allows us to make this same decision about our relationship with Him. And I also believe the opposite is true. We can choose to have a simple and more surface relationship with God, or a deeper and more connected one. It’s part of our free will. It’s part of God’s experiment here on earth. It’s not about going to Heaven or Hell either. It’s about a deeper connection and understanding of our creator. Do we choose to really live, or do we choose to merely exist?

As I walk out the life of “7 Breaths”, I find myself creating sort of a “Tether System” with Him. The deeper my relationship with Him goes, the more I start to understand what this world is for, why we are here, and what the purpose of humanity truly is. I believe that much of our understanding of this world, and beyond, comes from our perspective. When we experience tragedy, we often get caught up in the details and we start to lose our perspective on life as a grand journey, and not just a moment in time. There are lessons in tragedy, and there is a beauty in suffering that we often fail to realize. Without suffering, we could not experience the full magnitude of joy. Often it is only through suffering that we become stronger and more connected. When I look back over my life I realize that the times I cherish most are generally the times when I was coming out of a tragedy or some sort of suffering.

In these moments of tragedy and desperation, it behooves us to take a step back and ask ourselves why this has happened. Maybe we will find an answer, and maybe not. There is also a beauty in realizing that we don’t have to know all of the answers, and to remember that God cares nothing of time, only of timing. Things happen for a reason, often beyond our realm of comprehension. And when we can find solace in the mysteries of life, and believe that there is purpose in everything, we may begin to glide. When our faith is what is should be, we can find peace in the unknown.

When I am in the midst of tragedy, or something I do not understand, no matter how trivial or how devastating, I stop myself and remember that this is only a moment in time, and there must be a purpose in it. What can I learn from this? Life is about a series of changing trajectories. We all have different experiences that change the trajectory of our lives, daily.

I have created sort of an imaginary “tether system” with God. Imagine there being a long elastic tether coming down from the Heavens, connected in some way to God, and all of His infinite wisdom and understanding. I imagine myself on such a tether, able to spring up above the earth for a new perspective at any moment it is needed. And as I experience tragedy, I am able to spring up on this tether, seek God’s council, and then channel whatever anger, frustration or fear I may be feeling into strategizing and gaining some sense of understanding and consequent plan of action. Then I come back down to earth and put it into action, and I try to do that within the span of “7 Breaths”.

This “Tether System” allows me to keep constantly connected to God, just as I have spoken of in “7 Breaths”. It allows me to keep a fresh perspective. I see each moment as a series of moments in the journey. Each moment of frustration, tragedy, loss, anger, bewilderment, and regret can be channeled into positive action as long as I am tethered to God constantly, in each moment. Nothing is chance. Things happen for a reason. God doesn’t create tragedy, but He often allows it to happen so he may bring us through it. That’s the beauty in suffering that I’m speaking of. It’s on the other side of suffering.

Using this “Tether System” is also a choice. It’s one I must be disciplined to make, in every moment, of every day, and I realize that at any moment, I could in fact lose my connection. So I am constantly putting forth an effort to keep it in tact. The tether is always there. I just have to choose to use it. And as I walk through this, it becomes easier and more natural. It becomes my first reaction, instead of only finding it in moments of desperation, long after the fact. This is the connection I am speaking of in “7 Breaths”.

1 comment:

Ling said...

Hi Jared, I recently came across the beautiful necklaces on KEZA. Just a humble idea..I wonder if it would be worthwhile trying to sell them on Etsy ( Etsy has many fans and buyers and sellers who are supporters of handmade goods. I am a starting seller as well on Etsy and I go to their site all the time, especially for Christmas shopping. And I think buyers on Etsy would be interested in KEZA products.