Friday, September 24, 2010

The one where I get a bit "preachy" on y'all

So, I'm going to discuss something today that I don't often discuss. Oddly enough, I had this blog post written in my head yesterday and didn't get time to actually get it to the computer. Then when I read my favorite bloggers posts today, a couple of them were about religion. I think it might be a sign from the Universe.

When Lu was in the hospital recently, my uncles (my mother's brothers) were visiting one evening when the pastor from my Grandmother's church stopped by. He read a bible passage and led us in a quick prayer. After he left we got to discussing how strong my Grandmother's faith had been and how she'd enjoyed her visits from the pastor. I said I enjoyed the pastors stopping by because it reminded me of Grandma even if I didn't necessarily believe the same things they did. I still take comfort from their words and the fact they are sending out prayers for us. My uncle stated he did not believe in God. Because how could God let bad things happen to good people? That statement has been buzzing around in my head for the last month.

Here's the thing: I'm the exact opposite. I believe in a higher power (which we'll call the Universe) because bad things happen to good people. You're probably totally confused right now, huh? I must admit I was too at first. But let's think about what defines a "good" person. To me, a good person is someone who stays on the right side of the law, takes personal responsibility for their actions, doesn't lie, steal, or harm others. A good person tries to help others when they can, pays it forward as often as possible, is kind, and generally makes a difference in the lives of others. I try to be a good person. I don't always succeed. But I still put the effort forth. If I asked a smattering of people I know, if they thought of me as a good person, I would hope they would say yes, and I think they would. And many times I've heard my husband referred to as a good person. I'm trying to raise my kids to be good people and seem to be succeeding for the most part. And yet, as most of you will agree, we've had a year of hard knocks. I lost my grandmother, Mike nearly died in an accident, Lu has had medical problems and surgery, I've had the knee injury and surgery. We've had some tough times. But through it all, I've still struggled to be good. We didn't give up on each other or rail at the Universe. We didn't blame anyone else for our troubles or treat anyone badly. We didn't try to cheat the system and milk out Mike's workman's comp...the man was desperate to get back to work. Through it all, we've tried to hold to our integrity.

But it wasn't easy. It would have been easy to complain and give up. It would've been easy to beg for money from others. It would have been easy to turn negative and nasty. It would've been easy to blame others for our misfortune. And that's what proves my point. Being a good person isn't always easy. Oh, in good times, it is. And that's the point. If no one ever faced adversity, their "goodness" would never be challenged. If it was easy to be "good" everyone would do it? Right? It's the challenges and bad times that test your commitment to being "good". It's like if it never rained, you'd never know how to appreciate the sun. If my life was easy, I wouldn't appreciate the effort I or my family put in.

I don't know if anyone but me is following my train of thought here, but I hope the message is getting through. Being a "good" person is hard. But the Universe tests "good" people for a reason. And I firmly believe that the rewards are great. I'm not talking about Heaven, because my views on Heaven and Hell are pretty nebulous at best. I'm talking about the reward of supportive friends, great family bonds, and just the joy of making some random person smile because I let them go ahead of me in line. These joys, in the here and now, are things that make life and "goodness" worth it. And the challenges, well, they're there for a reason. Each one teaches a lesson, strengthens my resolve, and moves me forward. The Universe is testing me. Hope I pass.

And to any of you who read this and think "jeez, Pollyanna, give it a rest". I apologize, but this is truly how my brain works.

Blessed be,


  1. I follow your train of thought, and I agree with you virtual-sis. And yes, I do believe you are a good person. I believe I am a good person. We've both had our troubles this year, but we both have kept going - and that's what matters. Love you lots.

  2. I think you're on to something -- suffering helps us to grow.There's a good book that says "consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything". Another place says that perserverance produces character, and character hope. How's that for preachy?! (from the Bible)

  3. You should link this up to the Spin Cycle. I really do agree with what you were saying and I followed your thought process. Makes perfect sense to me!

  4. You are right about good people suffering sometimes too. That is just the way life is. Thought provoking post.

  5. I'm not so far from you over here in the 'atheist's corner'. These little homilies pretty much sum it up for me:
    1) What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
    2) Be here now

  6. If more people cared about the positive rewards in this life, we probably wouldn't need to tell stories to adults to get them to "act" good once a week. Or some shit...

  7. Now if only I could have found these words when I was doing my post. You said it perfectly!

    AND you are a great person/friend!

  8. Honey, I think this post is fabulous. It's beautifully put and I know exactly what you're saying....or I'm pretty sure I do.

    You have had a lot of tests lately....does the Universe give time off if you pass 'em all? I hope so...'cause you deserve some serious downtime.

    I do believe that those of us that face more than the "average" in challenges do appreciate the simplest things just a little bit more...

  9. Good person? Honey, you are a GREAT person!

    And you are spot on (hee hee ... that pun actually wasn't intended)with your summation.

    I "smell what yer steppin' in" (as Grasshoppa would say).

  10. I said I wasn't going to comment on old posts, cause it'd take too long, but I think this one deserves a comment.
    That is exactly what I think. Serious, that is my exact philosophy on this.
    Just thought I'd say that, cause you're awesome and deserve to know that you are :D

  11. So I am a little behind on reading blogs (and even further on posting). I have something to say to you Miss Polly-spot-anna! I love you! You are spot on. We are all responsible for how we respond to life and God, Spirit, the Universe, the Divine, the Force, the Great Unknown is going to support us in our decisions and we better step up to the mark. So many people just act from a place of entitlement and they need to get over it and start taking responsibility for their actions. I may not like all the situations in my life but I have to admit that I am also responsible for creating my world with the Divine. Keep us on track, love. Hugs