The day after Christmas, a very large, powerful tornado touched down in some suburbs south and east of Dallas. As usual, there was no lack of videos, photos, and news coverage of the destruction and devastation created by this enormous storm. My usual response to these events is one of removed sympathy. I regret the loss experienced by the victims, but have no real connection .
However, this last disaster was different. The day after the storm, an acquaintance of ours posted on Facebook that her home had been destroyed. Fortunately, she and her husband and two dogs had “hunkered down” in the bedroom closet, and had all survived with no injuries. Suddenly, this was more personal. She is a wonderful, creative person that we both admire.
So, the inevitable question arose. “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Or more to the point, “Why does God let this sort of thing happen?”
Since the beginning of known history, natural disasters have been happening. As far back as can be determined, there have been tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning strikes, floods, tsunamis, blizzards, cyclones, volcano eruptions and even meteors colliding with the Earth, just to mention a few. Each of these events brought its own level of destruction and devastation to the victims.
Let me stop here and point out the fact that the Earth is a living, breathing organism, and as such, is constantly evolving, adapting, and reacting to forces and conditions exerted upon it. Of course, some of these conditions are man-made. As with any living organism, it is also dying.
Until very recently in our history, humans did not have any understanding of how or why these natural events happened. This lack of understanding caused great fear and confusion. As the brain of our species developed the ability to reason and question, we began trying to create ways to avoid and/or survive disasters. At some point in our development, we acknowledged there were forces and powers beyond our control and understanding.
Thus, gods were created. If there were powers creating these disasters, we had to find a way to appease them. In very ancient times, there were gods responsible for all aspects of existence. In some cultures, they still exist. Sacrifices were invented, priests were empowered, festivals were held, images were carved, and temples were built. Every culture had its own set of gods. Finally, the vast number of gods became so burdensome to some cultures, they decided to have only one god to encompass all their fears.
Since we now know what causes these disastrous events, why do we still revert to very ancient thought processes. Somehow the knowledge of the “God of Nature” has not abated our need for appeasement, and blame.
Bottom line: These events are natural, random, ongoing, and uncontrollable. They are not “caused” or “allowed” by any one. They just happen. And that, my friends, is my opinion of the “God of Nature.”
Troy… thank you, thank you for this spot-on post! This is nature… this is science, in action! And yes, we lost our home in this tornado and are now surviving the aftermath which in itself is a long ongoing “storm”, so to speak. The tornado that destroyed our home was ever so brief lasting probably no more than 15 seconds. Imagine how in 15 seconds your life can be turned upside down.
So many people have been so kind to us… friends, family,as well as total strangers. There has been an outpouring of love and support and it is greatly appreciated. A smile, a hug, or an e-mail expressing concern means the world to us. If only we could all see this type of caring for each other on a daily basis.
We are thankful our lives were spared and we will pick up and move on. We take one day at a time and remain thankful for the simple things in life that bring joy. That is how I have tried to live my life and even in the midst of this upheaval it is important to try to find some humor when possible to break the tension created by the unknown and the need to find some kind of normalcy in every day routine.
I really hate the fact that you and so many people are experiencing the results of this disaster, but you are one person I know who will make it through these times and come out a better person. I am so sorry to hear about Lucy.
As usual, once again you’ve come to the only realistic conclusion on the subject. While we know there are others. But with thought upon the scientific understanding and knowledge we have today, and dismissing the superstitions of antiquity that still abound today in many forms, yours is one of concise determination.
Thanks for your comment. It is too bad more folks don’t understand the reality of our natural world.
Troy, you developed an idea in this post that I have ventured near, but never verbalized or established.The history and reasoning you provided led to a logical conclusion that I share with you. Thank you for helping me discover an important philosophy based on the God of Nature.
You’re welcome, Janet. Thank you for understanding my point. I’m afraid some people probably took offense to my logic. Actually, I held back from saying all I would like to say on the subject, out of fear of offending everyone. Thanks for the comment.
Troy… four years have passed since experiencing the tornado the day after Christmas of 2015. So many memories come flooding back and I find myself re-reading my own blog and “The Nature of God” or “The God of Nature” that you had so eloquently written at the time. You have absolutely no idea how that touched my heart, and I included a link in my blog entry! Here is that entry… https://theinquisitiveeye.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/1/the-rest-of-the-story
To me, that event seems so far in the past, but I know to you, the event is still happening. I hope these four years have brought you some sense of closure and peace as you continue to struggle with a devastating loss. My positive thoughts are with you.
Thank you so much and Happy Holidays to you!