“But if I’ve heard this saying once, I’ve heard it a thousand times – Everything happens for a reason. And possibly it does. I just haven’t found the reason that this all happened yet.” – Jerry Lawler
Everything happens for a reason….really? How often do we hear that saying, say it ourselves, believe it as the only justification for our life’s events. Good or bad. But is it possible that somethings just happen? It is possible that there is no reason anything happens? It is possible that we are left to seek out the reason? Whether to make sense of the senseless, give credit to the blessings, to justify karma or to sooth our weary souls. Is it possible that the reason exists only after everything happens and not before it. Is it our duty to discover the reason? Maybe that is the meaning of life.
It is hard for me to conjure up any viable reason that my son was sentence to suffer with cancer and the struggles of treatment at 10 years old. What reason is there that a young woman, only 21 years of age, in our community had her life cut short by a senseless murderer? What possible reason is there that a man who served for over 20 years in our military and fought tirelessly for our freedom, should have to find himself at the bottom of a bottle to cope with what he saw and endured. I could go on but you get my point….really does everything have to have a reason it happened? I tend to think not.
While I agree that hard work and determination can be a reason that somethings happen for some and not others. That focus and careful planning create a path that reaches a goal that is achieved not by coincidence This is not what I am addressing today. And let us not forget to mention the active participation in bad judgment, poor planning and decisions that result in an unsavory outcome. Clearly, some things do actually happen for a reason…or rather due to a reason. Which is hard work and good choices or the exact opposite.
What I am thinking about today is the non-empirical “reason” everything happens….as if there is a master plan with an end result…either negative or positive of which we, the active participant, doesn’t have control over. That I am not so sure of. While I am faithful, to say that God makes everything happen to us to accomplish reason, stands outside of the gift of free will. Which subscribes that God loves us enough to leave us to our own devices. We are not mere puppets on strings but rather captains of our own ships, controllers of our own destinies and writers of our own stories. Albeit good or bad. This is the reason that for no good reason at all, Eve enjoyed an apple that day and talked Adam into a bite which cast them both out of their safe and lovely garden. So if not God, then who would be the secret writer of reason prior to any given thing that could happen to us, so that everything that happens has a reason. The answer is no one. This is why I do not believe everything happens for a reason. Some things just happen for no reason at all. But do we just leave it at that?
Over the last year and a half I have been challenged to find reason in my son’s death. To make sense of this tragedy and find purpose in this loss. And none of it comes from prior to March 26th, 2010 but rather after February 16th, 2011. There was no reason my son’s stem cell suddenly started to malfunction producing leukemic blasts in his body. To say that he had carefully planned for this with hard work and determination is ridiculous. To say that he was suffering the consequences of bad choices and poor decision is also equally ridiculous It just happened and that has been one of the hardest things to accept. For a long time I wanted something or someone to blame, even if it was me and somehow my fault. If everything has to happened for a reason then someone has to be blamed for this…right? Alas, there is no one to blame. There was no “reason”. It just happened.
So as I struggle with this notion that everything happens for a reason, I find myself focusing on making reason out of everything that happens. As if to say, my son didn’t get cancer for a reason and didn’t die for a reason or no reason at all but rather that his death gave reason to my life.