Post # 32
I don’t want to speak for other people that are in the “Everything Happens for a reason” camp, but I’d just like to clarify my POV a little.
When I say that everything happens for a reason, I don’t mean that I think that a child getting murdered, or my friend dying or ejs’s brother getting killed in a car accident happened IN ORDER TO teach us something, or happened IN ORDER TO bring about some great “plan”. But I do believe that those people had *predetermined amounts of time on earth* and that it was their time to move on to heaven.
The *reason* they died is because it was their time to die, God knew from the moment that they were born that this event would come to pass in their life– I believe he knew from the moment I was born when I will die also because how long we get to be here on earth is decided from the moment we enter it.
I think that God probably mourns the loss of a young person or child who dies in a tragic way just like we do– I don’t think he is up there clapping his hands together as part of a huge master plan. He (and I) just realize that there are evil forces on earth just like there are good forces. Sometimes one wins out, sometimes the other does.
Post # 33
For us, I know that one of my brother’s friends got clean and sober after the accident and has gone into ministry to help others. He has actually told us it was because of everything that happened to my brother, after watching all the suffering. I can’t help but think that perhaps my brother’s purpose, on some level, was to teach B something, and in turn, he is going on to help others in a very large way. Maybe i’m just stringing things together, but a situation like ours is all i meant to imply by teaching someone a lesson. I don’t mean it in a vindictive and cruel way, like you’re being taught tough love or anything. Ah, i hope that makes sense. I guess whether you look at it like there was purpose to begin with or whether something good just happened to come out a bad situation, well, that’s too much philosophical talk for me =]
Post # 34
I don’t believe that everything happens for a “good” reason. To think that ever death is to help teach someone a lesson, or every job lost is to open a better door, I think is unrealistic of the world we live in. However, there are always good and bad reasons. I think everything happens for a reason, we may not like the reason, and we may not see or understand the reason for a very long time. In the end though, I do believe that everything happens to pull everything together.
Post # 35
i am a STRONG believer that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that there is an ultimate plan and that while i might not like or understand things that happen to me, its all for the best. even if its just a learning experience to make me stronger to deal with lifes big challenges down the road.
seriously, after dealing with cancer, auto immune disorders, deaths, breakups, losses, accidents, etc. i HAVE to believe that its all for a reason. And life has shown me over and over that it does have a large purpose.
my fav quote is from Mother Teresa – “i know God only gives us as much as we can bear, i just wish He didnt trust me so much…”
Post # 36
Ditto, I have that Mother Teresa Quote in my car.
I think once you have been through a great deal of pain, suffering, and loss, it solidifies your opinion on this matter. I have dealt with all of the above, and for me, it seemingly proved that it all lead to something good. I think you might have read this about me before, but I was literally miraculously healed in Lourdes France, and that changed EVERYTHING, including my opinion on this matter.
Post # 37
I don’t really like the phrasing “everything happens for a reason”, if only because it can sound smug and condescending to a person that is really hurting. If someone had come up and said that to me right after I lost my dad, or my brother, or my nephew, I’d have been tempted to slug them. Of course, I have said it myself (although not to a grieving person). I think maybe a better way to say it is that I do believe there is meaning in everything that happens, and lessons to be learned, and opportunities to grow. I don’t think that’s why bad stuff happens, though.
I don’t think God messes with us, in other words. I don’t think He’s putting us through little mazes like lab rats. He gave us free will. We always have choices. Some of our suffering comes from our own bad choices, but lots of times it comes as a result of other people’s bad choices. Other times – like a child with a terminal illness – well, it’s just what it is. Random. Terrible. Maddeningly unfair. Maybe if we could see the whole picture as God does, it might make some sense, but we can only see one little bit and therefore it seems senseless. But no matter how many times we get knocked down by life, we can always choose whether we’re going to get up or not. We can always choose to do better or do worse. We can choose to get stuck in the badness, or try to find our way to something good.
Post # 38
I guess I have a problem with everyone has a set time on earth that is predetermined. So if I smoke 2 packs a day and die of lung cancer at 50, was that just how I was supposed to die? Or would I have died in a car accident on that day if I hadn’t smoked b/c my time on earth was finished?
I guess if I believed that everything happened for a reason, this concept would be easier for me to understand. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the everything happens for a reason but we all have free will camp, I do get where people who believe this are coming from. I just can’t comprehend the “it was their time to die” argument?
Post # 39
I agree with you 100%. I can see how those people are religious could draw such beliefs and conclusions (not that everyone does, obviously!), but when you take belief in a higher power out of the equation (or at least an intervening one) it’s pretty difficult to believe in predetermination, which is what I have a major issue with.
Post # 40
I personally dislike that phrase (and agree with FontGoddess and others that it can come across as quite smug if you are really hurting), and I don’t believe it’s true in the way the phrase is meant to be taken. I also don’t believe in “fate” or “destiny” or a “master plan”.
I don’t believe that everything happens in order to each us something. The more pain and suffering I see (or endure) the less I believe that “everything happens for a reason”. My MFIL is a lawyer who deals only in child abuse cases. What she deals with 24/7 defies reason and any sort of logical “plan” I can believe in. But that’s just me personally.
I do think that you often “get what you give” but I believe that happens because we’re in control of our actions and that our actions most of the time have often logical reactions, not because of some cosmic version of justice.
Post # 41
Whille people’s lives can be changed for the better by tragedy, and those experiences are precious, I think the idea that “everything happens for a reason,” as in there is a greater purpose for things, is crazy myopic. As we speak, there are children dying hungry and alone in the streets of towns we will never know the names of. Their lives will have been short and anonymous. No one will learn a lesson, no one will be stronger, no one will embrace every day as the last for the death of that child.
Life can be cruel, petty, and random. For most people who have ever lived, it has been. I think ignoring that fact is a tragedy.
Post # 42
I believe that in every experience there is a lesson to be learned. It kind of goes with the idea that everything happens for a reason… however, if everything happens for a reason & we don’t learn from it, what was the point? It’s just going to keep happening.
Post # 44
I think theres a difference between:
“everything happens for a reason so i dont have to care about what happens or make good choices because the end is the same no matter what”
“everything happens for a reason so i should take both good and bad experiences and learn from them”
because i believe in God, i believe he has good and bad things happen to me to teach me how to be a better person. and because of that it prepares me for harder times. and plus, you cant have the sweet without the bitter. you have to experience bad times to apprieciate the good, or else life would be boring.
yes bad things happen, but if you let the bad drag you down, you wont get the meaning behind it or grow as a person.
Post # 45
I don’t beleive in fate or karma – I do beleive kind people tend to be happier – but not necessarily have better lives! Saying that: I was pregnant before I met my Fiance, I lost the baby – had I remained pregnant I wouldn’t have met my Fiance – so I think sometimes bad things have happy endings!