In the desire to eliminate suffering and poverty , let us not forget that growth happens in the struggles of life. (More about this idea below)
Note: I actually wrote this and made this graphic the day before the fire and it was supposed to be published yesterday, but WordPress is being wonky.
At the time, I was thinking about how bean counters , investors, and central planners are working to eliminate all risk from life for financial reasons and to automate everything which will eliminate the most productive jobs. If they succeed in building this world of the future all that’s left will be government and bureaucratic jobs, thinking jobs and maybe creative jobs. I say “maybe” on the creative jobs because AI will handle most of that. That leaves people to find things to do with their time, which often turns out badly.
I know it will take years to build this “perfect world” , and Jesus could return today, but I think it’s a very risky plan .
There’s no life without risk
Yes, let’s try to cure cancer and we should help people get food, water, shelter, freedom, etc. But we need to preserve what makes us human, the struggles of life. You don’t want life to be hopelessly difficult or needlessly dangerous or celebrate oppressive conditions. However , humans enjoy a challenge and hard work and difficult times CAN strengthen our character and our faith.
What I see happening in prosperous nations is people creating drama so they can continue to struggle. Obviously plenty of people are literally just trying to survive, but there’s a growing class with so much money that they have to find things to do to feel alive. I think that’s why ultramarathons and extreme sports as well as psychedelic drugs and increasingly bizarre sex are becoming so popular. Hopefully the geniuses who are building robots to take over all the jobs from medicine to taxi drivers to factories will remember that people need to have meaningful activity and real work to be healthy.
So after I thought about how life is in the struggle, the next day the kitchen caught on fire . 🤔
After the fire I was very upset because I blamed myself for forgetting about the pan on the stove . My brain kept trying to dissociate to protect itself from the mental pain caused by the thoughts of what could have happened.
But I asked good prayer warriors to pray for me. I knew I needed help processing yet another difficult experience. Eventually I calmed down and started talking to God and listening. I started thinking how usually when I forget to do something important, the Holy Spirit reminds me. Why did that not happen this time ?
The spirit started showing me that even though it was scary at the time , God was always there controlling the situation. And that He had allowed it for purposes that remain unclear. I realized that I was not dwelling on the right thing. I needed to focus on how God had protected my family, because it could’ve been a very different outcome.
Do I really believe that God is that involved in my life ? Absolutely,
If my son had had been wearing headphones like he often does, he wouldn’t have heard the smoke alarms . If he had not been sitting right where he was he wouldn’t have seen the flicker of flames underneath his closed door. if he hadn’t been home… If the can of cooking spray had exploded. If he had knocked the pan of the flaming oil off the stove (he said that almost happened) he would’ve been burned and set the whole house aflame.
If ,if, if. But God was there. In the fire.
I don’t want to sound like I enjoyed the experience! But I won’t stop trusting God. And I know that He will bring something good out of this.
In fact I’ve already had unexpected conversations with my kids that show me that God is working in their hearts because of this fire, which is always my prayer!
Is she breathing?
One important thing that came out of the fire was that we spent the night at my mom’s house and I ended up sleeping with Grace. I haven’t done that since she was very small. During the night I suddenly woke up and I couldn’t tell for sure, but I thought she was dead. She felt cool to the touch and wasn’t breathing. My immediate thought was that the smoke had affected her lungs.
I was lying down and my right arm is still messed up so it was awkward, but I did a few chest compressions and then rolled her on her side because she was limp. I shook her and then she gurgled and I heard her take a gasping breath. After lying awake for a while after that, I fell back asleep and then it happened all over. Not breathing, shaking her, taking a breath.
After that I got up and propped her on pillows. But this experience made me realize that her sleep apnea is worse than I thought. So I need to put on the bipap mask every night. Up til now I have only used it when she was sick.
The extremely strange thing is that when I shared that story about Grace with my friend, she told me that she had woken up that night thinking her husband was dead, he also has apnea, and her daughter had thought her husband (he has lung cancer) was dead! All in the same night. Strange, huh?
At this time we still have the breaker turned off that connects to the burned up vent fan. This means we have no power in the dining room, Grace’s room and my bedroom. Thankfully we have power to the refrigerator! Yesterday I started cleaning up the huge mess. It will take time to remove all the soot and fire extinguisher powder that went everywhere. Today the insurance adjuster is coming. Praying for a fair settlement so we can get our lives back in order.