I lost an immediate member of my family recently. It has been a very hard time for me. I find myself going into some tough places emotionally. I was also emailing with a close friend within the last few days. We hadn’t been in touch for awhile, but he shared with me that he lost his girlfriend in an accident a few months ago. That hit me really hard, I thought about it while laying in bed that night and the next day while I was running. I had this overwhelming thought that “Everything about life is so tragic. If you love, you will lose.”
Despite having these thoughts, I have been able to pull myself back to the right way of thinking. And I owe that to my growth as a Christian over the last two years. I read roughly 40 books about Christianity over that period of time. I read the New Testament and started engaging with sermons. I spoke with more friends about the lives they live with Christ. And about the lives they don’t live with Christ. And it has truly helped me with this earthly tragedy that I have recently faced. And it has helped me to better sort through my thoughts and feelings about the tragedy that others in the world are facing (especially right now).
I was recently reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis and it got me thinking about a sermon that I sat through a few years ago. The church that I most frequently attend likes to offer sermons as a part of an ongoing series. I have found that to be really helpful because it truly helps to dive deep into one small section of The Good Book at a time. Depth of experience in the Bible is important because every page is jam packed with guidance on how to best navigate through our earthly existence. One sentence can send your mind racing for hours.
The sermon series slowly wound it’s way through 1 Timothy. The church labeled the series “God’s Gym.” A passage from 1 Timothy 4:7-8 has stuck with me:
“7…Rather train yourself for godliness; 8for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come.”
I’m extremely thankful for the journey I set out on two years ago to gain a better understanding of eternal life. It doesn’t completely take away my grief, but it helps to make that grief brief and understandable so I can move on to the bigger picture. The bigger picture is extremely beautiful.
We’re all going to face tragedy, that is a given in life. We’re dealing with nature. And the endgame for nature is destruction, as all things in nature will pass away at some time. But we can better prepare our lives and our souls by engaging in meaningful content. I found Christianity and I view it as the thing that best explains what nature and super-nature should mean to me. It may be different for you. But the point is that if you decide to dig deep, and train yourself in whatever you consider to be the “tao,” you can be better prepared to take on these tragedies that we’ll all face. And you’ll be better prepared to take on anything else that is thrown at you.