Sunday, November 06, 2005

Taking on this Job

The book of Job in the Bible was written a long, long time ago. I don't know anyone today whose name is Job. After all, the story of Job is one of intense suffering. I also have noted the similarlity to the English word: job. Job had quite an undertaking, quite a "job" to live through his suffering. And his suffering was completely undeserved. I think today we get really annoyed at God, at Fate, at whatever when our suffering seems so unwarranted. As the story progresses we see that Job's friends were no help to him. Have you ever thought, gee, my friends are well-meaning but they just don't understand? You are right. I am reminded of the spiritual song whose lyrics say: "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." Everyone has unique problems because we have unique abilities and experience. In Job's story his wife gives up and tells him to just curse God and die. Not the best advice a helpmate could give their misery-ridden spouse. I would hope my spouse would stand by me a little better. He has so far and that's been no mean trick! But I digress. The reason I got thinking about Job is late in the book is a description of the "behemoth" and the "leviathan". I understand that some "intelligent design" folks use these lines to support their belief that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time on earth. It is compelling to read about these two great beasts and wonder what they could be. Not something I want as a pet in my backyard! I'll stick with horses, they are big enough for me. So where am I leading to with these two seemingly disparate ideas: suffering and big monsters? Why does this ancient book combine these things? Let me remind you of Occam's Razor. Two possiblilities: the writer of Job is a lunatic, or the writer wanted to reveal something about their view of God. Would this writing have endured if it was nothing but meaningless dribble? I have troubles. Specific troubles. So do you. I chose to believe my troubles can be transended by faith. I do not believe in Fate, Good Luck, the almightly position of Science, talismans, dead relatives, dead holy people, the lottery or even myself. What am I compared to the Leviathan? the Behemoth? Yes, there are times I believe my problems are about to crush me like a bug. But then I remember Job. He did a good job of showing people through the ages that there is a reason to endure. At the end of his suffering, Job's fortunes are double what he had before and he lived a long, full life. I don't believe every person will see their reward in this life though. But fortunately there is an afterlife. And it isn't what you see on TV on "Medium" or "Ghost Whisperer". Those shows are so laughable that it causes me great suffering to think that people just suck up all that entertainment at face value. Ah, there is enough suffering in this world. No need to add to it the suffering of those who are dead but not "crossed over". Ha! That reminds me of an old movie (or TV show) that showed a minister preaching over an open coffin and he says: "When you dead, you dead, and there ain't nothing gonna bring you back." At that point the corpse sits up in the casket to a huge uproar among the mourners. (wish I knew the name of that show - any trivia buffs out there?) To continue this run-on thought, think of the story of Job and how many individuals have taken comfort from this history. And then tell me that we are just carbon-based entities with no purpose but to interact, reproduce, and fall to ashes when our time is up. I believe in the Creator of that behemoth.

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