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God, the meaning of life and maybe an answer

September 2, 2014

peter1The river’s frigid water washed across his sandaled feet, the only sounds heard was his footsteps accenting his words. He stopped now and then to emphasized something he was saying, looking at me akin to a father talking to his child. I knew this was just a creation of my mind embodying my thoughts into a mental image of God, literally taking me by the hand and showing me his handiwork in everything that surrounded me.

With now nearly two straight months of rain and clouds it has somewhat restrained my outside activities and one does many things to fill the day and break any potential monotony that may be accumulating. Living alone, with no personal contact for days on end I have found that I have a great amount of uncluttered time to think about whatever takes my fancy. One topic, ‘the meaning of life’, has remained a constant over the decades and is one most of us have pondered. However I cannot go down this well traveled road of the meaning of life without encountering the detour sign for the existence of God.

For myself the question about the meaning of life would be eliminated if I could surrender my whole being and completely accept the existence of God. Then life would have a single path with road signs and directions, (the bible). I would never again have to think about why I am here and what is my purpose. It would be simple if it were not for the many different churches and the, (frail and flawed), human element of ministers, clergy and priests.

Priests, ministers and clergy of all religions are human and none are flawless thus their instructions to us ‘lay people’ are at times clouded with their interpretation of God’s word. One shinning example, for me, is when a priest would not marry me and my first wife….because I was too young. Suffice it to say I did marry her and we lived as husband and wife for 28 years until she died. I am wondering where in the bible did it say that a man could not marry when he was 18?

Sometimes even the head of a church interprets things, and at times creates rules that have no solid base in scripture. Take for instance Catholics not being allowed to eat fish on Friday. For decades it was a law in our church and then a new Pope decides it is OK to eat fish? Or the Amish and their adherence to the strictest of dress codes or how about the Mormons and their principle of no caffeine? As a young boy in school I would listen and follow whatever the Pope or for that matter a priest or nun told me to do. Now older and able to think things through I see that many ministers and those in charge pontificate knowledge that we are to blindly accept.

At 48 I thought I found a meaning for my life when my wife was diagnosed with Scleroderma but when she died I was again floundering and searching until my parents need help in their last days. Now surely I found my purpose to spend my years doing what I could to improve their lives. Sadly they passed within ten months of my wife. Once again adrift without direction until my son asked for help on a project he had here in Alaska.

So sitting here nearing the end of life’s road I believe I have a better prospective on the question. Living in the big city it is harder for one to find the proof of Gods existence, whereas here I can see it daily in the splendor he has created. From majestic panoramas to the birth of a newborn baby in a smiling woman’s arms. So possibly one meaning for our lives could be to learn to recognize these wonders and reach out to those around us either physically or emotionally and bring a spark of happiness into their lives.

Could it then that our purpose in life
may be to realize what God has created for us
and to help others to see that beauty.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2014 7:47 pm

    When every knee bows, we will find our peace and fulfillment and there will be no more wondering about the meaning of life, for any of us.

    As for Friday fish, I was not raised Catholic, but I remember as a child that was the day cafeterias made sure they had fish. On Fridays my grandmother often took me to the basement cafeteria in Titches, downtown Dallas, a place they no longer exists. And I always ordered the most wonderful fish for lunch. As a child, I didn’t understand the reasons for the Friday’s only thing, but I do remember liking Catholics everywhere for making sure I had fish on my trips to the big down town.

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  2. Gina permalink
    September 3, 2014 1:06 am

    ~~~ I think that’s the one constant but changing thing in the world…..the wonders and glories of nature and our earth ~~~ Here in north Florida we’re having a pretty dry summer, odd but interesting.

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  3. Terry permalink
    September 3, 2014 3:36 am

    “learn to recognize these wonders” – hit the nail on the head. As well as the bad things in this world, there’s a lot of good stuff around which is really amazing.

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  4. Del permalink
    September 3, 2014 4:27 am

    Yea we are getting swamped about everyday here in north central Fl… Rainiest is years here…. I see it was 32 in Squarbanks this morn….. You guys really didn’t have a summer……

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  5. September 3, 2014 10:47 am

    Hey Pete – Stupid WordPress once again forced me to go into Chrome so I could post this comment!! I believe you are struggling with the same questions that have befuddled man since his inception. And you and I both have issues with ‘dogma’. I understand the need for organized religion to present a unified interpretation of their beliefs and sacred writings but in so doing we are opening the Pandora’s Box that is human interpretation. I’ve often thought it much better to allow each person to study the various philosophies and belief systems, question them for clarity and then make up their own minds. I also believe that when common themes are expressed in different religions then there must be a reason and said ‘reason’ is probably important. Concepts like ‘love thy neighbor’, do not commit murder, treat others as you wish to be treated and similar appear in all the major religions. For myself I am deeply spiritual but shy away from dogma as for me it just muddies the water and too often actually detracts from the simple and pure beauty that underlies most religions. As for the rain; we had clear skies and three mornings of below freezing temps across the weekend but drizzle and rain yesterday. It’s trying hard to clear up this morning but if it does and remains clear into the night we’ll almost certainly see at least a frost if not another freeze. I’m more than ready; bring on the cold and snow!!

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  6. Raven permalink
    September 3, 2014 7:31 pm

    You can send some rain back east….not a lot, just enough to let the garden finish out its last of the tomato’s and cucumbers!
    As for God, I believe in him, and have a strong faith that he has gotten me through some pretty rough times. I think it is having trust in God and being humble. I may not fully understand some of the teachings of the Bible, but God has created some beautiful things, both Human and Natural. I remember when I was really, really sick and my husband kneeled down at my bedside sobbing and praying that I would get some relief and comfort. That alone gave me strength and peace and increased faith! Great writing Pete!

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  7. September 12, 2014 7:34 am

    Hi Pete,

    I’m printing this out and inserting a copy into my Bible and putting a copy on my wall in the Ham Shack. Having been raised by a Christian family one of the first scriptures they taught me was John 3:16. We have a choice to believe it or not believe it! Considering the time we are living in and what is going on around the world our faith is what keeps us going!

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