We are weak and pitiable creatures. That’s what we are. I have no problem accepting this.
The worldview I subscribe to offers a remedy to this situation – redemption through Jesus – which is great (albeit an esoteric future thing that is hard to grasp). But still I struggle with this notion of how consistently awful mankind is. Sure there are days when beauty and goodness seem to outweigh evil, but most of the time it sure doesn’t seem that way.
Why are we so bad? Are we even worth saving? Is this generation bound for destruction? These sorts of questions keep all of us here at TMF up at night; resulting in our intern having to make many late night fact finding trips to Krispy Kreme. (‘What the #@%$ Fred you idiot I said SPRINKLES!’)
I try not to be so negative, but driving in South Florida takes its toll (a little Turnpike humor there). I’m also part of the problem of course. I trust no one and usually assume the worst about people. I’ve started carrying a whompin’ stick in my vehicle just in case things escalate or someone tries to jack my sweet VW Golf (again). I don’t do much to create peace or facilitate healing.
Sometimes I can’t stand the thought of spending eternity with certain people in heaven. Sometimes I question my own spot. Oftentimes I wish a lot of people would just go away.
Despite all this angst, I generally subscribe to the notion of us all trudging through this world on equal cosmic footing (equally valuable and cared for by God), hopefully en route to a better place. But the questions of fairness, justice and punishment are vexing. How does each person get sorted out? Are some so bad they just get annihilated, or worse, sent to some sort of damnation? What happens to those people who don’t seem worth saving? I believe that Christ offers redemption, but let’s be honest, it’s hard to know the extent to which human behavior factors in this equation.
Forgiven Failures or Just Failures?
We are ingenious and far cleverer than any other species on earth, but not so much disciplined or valiant. While our brilliance has built airplanes, harnessed electricity and created the Internet, we seem to have less self-control than say, an average blue whale. Or hummingbird. We lack the patience, restraint and loyalty displayed by most ants, penguins or narwhals.
Why then have lecherous, disappointing, flailing humans been entrusted with so much, and are we ‘worthy’ of saving?
For humans, this issue of whether or not we seem ‘worth saving’ depends on the day we’re asked. We are incredibly petty, emotional, selfish and vengeful. I assume this is a major difference between us and God. While we are prone to wild mood swings — making pronouncements and casting judgment based on short-terms factors — God sees the entire picture. I’m also assuming He loves more completely than any of us do… although we can’t prove that. We’re not privy to God’s decision making process or what exactly He has in mind for us. In my mind this means there is room for afterlife speculation. So I’m choosing to hope for the best.
My hope is that we all get a chance to be restored somehow, eventually. As lousy as I can be sometimes, at the end of the day I can’t hope for anyone to miss out on (eventual) redemption. We’re all flopping, foolish failure machines in desperate need of grace and restoration. I’m hoping that in the end, God’s goodness wins out over our badness and we end up as forgiven failures.