The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

April 24, 2014

Jim Bailey: Figuring out how to have the good in life without the bad

Most of us have had those faith-shaking episodes in our lives. The tragic episodes that leave us wondering what life is all about.

So it is with a young mother whose husband’s life was snuffed out recently as the result of a high-speed rear-end collision just minutes after they left church in Edgewood anticipating the impending arrival of their first child, a baby girl who will never know her father.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

In a universe ruled by amazingly consistent order, there are few variables. Many of what there are involve the free will of human beings gifted with the ability to make choices that can turn the course of events positively or negatively.

A decision to pop too many pills. A loaded firearm left where a child can find it or hastily discharged during an attempted breach of the law. Distracted driving. A fire from an untended cigarette or carelessly discarded coals. The accumulation in manmade environments of toxic gases, which years ago overcame my uncle and cousin, and some years later contributed to the death of another cousin.

When it happens to you, order turns to chaos. The trees become too large to see the splendor of the forest.

The sun comes up and goes down. The rain brings flowers. Winter turns to spring, and summer is close behind. Growth happens. Amazing things are accomplished through human effort as technology proliferates by leaps and bounds.

All the while, loneliness and heartache stop people in their tracks. If there is a God, why does he permit such things?

There are no easy answers. Perhaps one of the best I’ve encountered surprisingly was in the movie “Oh God Book II,” where George Burns in the role of God rips off a simplistic yet profound analysis:

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