When I was growing up, I was taught that good things happened to you if you did good things and that bad things happened to you if you did bad things. Full stop. We subscribed to a strict karma philosophy. So strict that we often had to identify suffering as punishment for things done in previous lives. Because could a child really do so much wrong in this life as to "deserve" cancer? My frustration with this part of the philosophy played a huge role in my eventual conversion to the Catholicism. But that's not what I'm thinking about today.
What I'm thinking about today is my relatively new-found perspective on "bad things." That suffering, hardship, and frustration are sometimes a gift cleverly disguised because they can so often help us to identify and overcome our weaknesses. They bring us closer to God because in our times of need we can recognize our smallness. Our inability to do it alone.
But sometimes it seems that as soon as we overcome one hurdle, as soon as we get good at not worrying about XYZ and not caring about ABC, as soon as not finding a good parking spot stops stressing us out, we graduate. Things that used to bring us closer to God don't anymore because, you know, we just don't care about silly stuff like that. So we get bigger challenges handed to us so we can keep improving. Keep getting better. Keep getting closer to God so that we are already living in His eternity on the day we're called.
And that has started to scare me. What if I get too good at managing the current stresses and tribulations of our life? What if I start coasting through our present state of parenting and homeschooling and fixer-upper-ing with a joyful heart and a peaceful spirit? What then? Is something even crazier going to happen? Is some kind of tragedy going to befall us? Is God going to need a new way to call me? It almost makes me scared to become the kind of person who could handle more than this. Because I don't want to handle more than this.
That must sound terribly selfish and small-minded, but it's the truth. I'm scared to graduate.