When you get a chance12:52 PM
You nearly died yesterday.
And the day before that.
To be alive is to risk dying.
It's easy to think there's a sort of "inevitability" to life, as if it has a fiercer drive than entropy. Pathogens, drunk drivers, radiation, natural disasters...they're all after us, but somehow we march on. I marvel at the odds I've beat just to make it a whole two decades. I often wonder why I expect the world to go right, and am surprised at calamity as if it's some kind of unnatural occurrence.
It's almost as if everything around us has been so neatly established that we feel entitled to a chaos-free existence. The laws of physics are elegantly simple equations, the water cycle is ridiculously efficient, the symbiosis of photosynthesizing organisms recycling carbon-dioxide for us oxygen-guzzling creatures is practically affection-inspiring, the tilt of the earth defines seasons, the moon regulates ocean life, our fine-tuned magnetic field shields us from harmful radiation, our sun faithfully hurls its benevolent kinetic energy our way, the battle-worn giants of our solar system sweep for us a path free of dangerous space-junk; it's this glorious self-sufficient system commissioned to nurture the fragility of life in a cruel universe.
And yet we die.
No one's beat the one-hundred-percent mortality rate.
Our shifting crust-plates both regulate our core and drown us with tsunamis, they forge stunning mountain ranges and bury us alive in molten lava. The sun burns us, the gravity that keeps us home can crush our bones, the micro-organisms that help us digest will help digest us once we're gone; it's this love-hate struggle that makes existence so bittersweet.
But why do we yet live? Why don't earthquakes happen more often? Why don't more people catch the flu? If biological life is incomprehensibly improbable, why am I alive? The only answer most will give you is a "what is just is" kind of thing. Things happen, atoms collide, stuff rots; we don't question or pound the brick-wall of Reality.
And there you have it: submission.
Whether "good" or "evil", the horrific and glorious happenings of our reality all bring us to our knees in submission to the sovereignty of what is.
So this is how I have begun to see it. Chance is irrelevant. Beating-the-odds, probability, inevitability; whatever. The very manner in which reality behaved at its beginning defied nature and reason right off the bat, so to heck with fitting reality in "reasonable" boundaries. I say "order" and "calamity" are both "unnatural" as much as they are "natural".
So today, if you are alive (unreasonably) to read this, it is for a reason. That terrifying and benevolent Force that governs the march of time is sustaining you with immutable precision. You cannot thwart for a moment His unchangeable will. You will not die a moment before your time, nor a moment after.
What have you to fear? Fear the iron bars of Reality that cage you, yet keep you safe, fear the hands that formed you yet could crush you on a whim. Bow in submission to just One, fear just One, and find yourself free to live, free to die, and free from fear.
Golly, all this pondering is making me peckish. I think I'll go prolong my existence by eating some lunch.