Monthly Archives: January 2016

There either is a God, or there isn’t.

My father is dying.  We don’t know how long it will take.  He has entered in-home hospice care, and needs someone with him at all times.  He is 86 years old, and is a sociologist.  He has studied humanity for most of his life, and finds the process of dying rather “fascinating.”  As a sociologist, a teacher, and a counselor for most of his life, he has read about the dying process, changes that people make, some of the things that they start doing – and now, he says, he understands why these happen much much better.

So tonight I was with my dad.  And he made the comment that he wished he had taken a class on philosophy.  I asked him why.  This is my paraphrase of his answer.

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Well, there is either a God, or there isn’t.  Now if you consider the law of entropy, you pretty much have to believe in some kind of creator – something that at least put the process into motion.

Once you decide there is a God, you have to ask, is he intelligent/logical or not?  With all the various things that occur in nature – like that law of entropy, how things are put together, laws of science, etc…those things all lead to the conclusion that God is intelligent and logical.

So then you have to ask yourself – is an intelligent God concerned about Mankind or not?  And if He is concerned with mankind – is that concern for our benefit, or our detriment?  Is God just some cruel entity that enjoys making man suffer, or is He a loving God, who has planned for our benefit?  I believe He is concerned with mankind, and for our good.

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Around there he stopped and said something to the effect of “I don’t remember the rest of it. But I had it all laid out, step by step.  I’ll have to write it all down when my brain is working better…”

Simple questions.  But they mean so very much.  I hope he remembers the other questions that went along with these.  I’d like to hear them.

Is there a God, or isn’t there?

If there is a God, is God intelligent and logical?

If He is intelligent and logical, is he concerned with Mankind?

If He is concerned with Mankind, is that concern for our good, or for our detriment?

I love my daddy.  And I am so glad that, even in his last days, he still speaks of God as a loving Father, who is concerned for His creation.

 

 

Attitude is everything!

Something happened this holiday that I am still pondering.  Circumstances surrounding Christmas meant that instead of bringing a few items to our annual potluck family dinner, I ended up cooking almost all of it.  While my sister’s family usually does the turkey and the main dishes (I usually take care of the veggie tray and dessert), this year she was sick.  So I cooked the turkey, the side dishes, one of the desserts, the bread… (my son and his lady brought up a delicious ham and another dessert).

I was worried about getting everything done at the right time, but it worked out.  I even managed to change into my brand new lace dress that I had bought specifically for Christmas dinner.

After dinner, other family members cleared the table, putting the dirty dishes and leftovers into the kitchen, and we played a card game.  I won the first round of it, and stopped playing for a while.  One of the things that I did was go to the kitchen, start putting up some of the food, get the dirty dishes rinsed and into the dishwasher, etc.   Then I went back and played some more card games.  When we finished playing, and most everybody had left, I continued cleaning up.  There was still some work to do, but I had stopped and was looking at what I had done, and what I had left to do.

I was feeling quite satisfied, and happy.  I had gotten a lot done in a short amount of time, and only had a few more things to do.  It had been a lovely dinner, an enjoyable time and an easy clean-up, even tho I was the only one doing it.

Another relative came up beside me. She looked at the same thing I was looking at.  Her attitude, however, was very different from mine.  While I was thinking “Wow!  I got a lot done in such a short time! Just a few more minutes and I will be finished!” she made a comment something to the effect of how much work and time it takes to clean up after a dinner, and how much work she usually has to put in after a holiday dinner to clear away and clean up.  I hadn’t thought of it as WORK at all.  It was just something that needed to be done, and I was the one best suited to do it this year.  So I did it.

My perception of her feelings and attitude, based on her comments, were so diametrically opposed to what I was actually feeling that this incident has stayed with me.  What she seemed to view as a difficult chore, I had seen as a needed and almost enjoyable task.  I had enjoyed listening to everyone else having fun playing while I was cleaning up.  Although I did have to do a little scrubbing on the stove, most of the clean-up was easy.

But I wondered if the clean-up was easy to me because of my attitude.  I had had fun playing, but the clean-up needed to be done.  I didn’t feel sorry for myself for leaving the games to clean, I enjoyed listening to everyone else play, laugh, and talk.  My attitude made a difference between feeling as though I was working all alone at a difficult chore, and enjoying what I was doing.

I’ve wondered since then – how can I bring that type of positive attitude to the things that I do find onerous chores?  There are many things in my life that I have difficulty doing – I view them as work, as hard and difficult, as almost impossible tasks.  But how much of those feelings are reality, and how much is my attitude?  If my attitude towards these tasks changed, would the difficulty of doing them change as well?  This is something I will continue to ponder – and attempt to change – for the future.

Here is to a positive attitude!  May it make things easier in the months to come.