Thursday, July 19, 2018

Have you ever noticed that many improvements become burdens?

E-mail, for instance.  I welcomed e-mail for a variety of reasons.  I could get in touch with my friends.  I could order things online.  I could complain quickly and painlessly with providers such as Comcast.

  Now I dread it.  I get around 200 e-mails a day.  The only reason I look at them is to avoid a pile-up of epic proportions.  So I have to keep up with them in order to avoid being inundated by unwanted and unsolicited messages and missing the few--very few--from people I actually want to hear from.  When I miss a week I have so many messages that I just delete them all.

  The people I have financial accounts with want to send me e-mail bills.  Its cheaper and more convenient for them.  But not for me.  I prefer to get my bills from the post office.  In that way I can look at the charges and see if they really are something I charged or some kind of hack.  Ditto for bank statements.  More than once I have been charged two or even three times for something I only ordered once.  I was charged four times for "audible," which I never used and particularly loathe as I don't like books read to me.  The only thing I want to hear broadcast is music. 

 Another irksome feature of modern life is voicemail,  I long ago gave up answering my landline because of all the unwanted solicitations.  Now I am getting them on my cell phone.  So I never answer the cell phone unless the number is known to me.  But it's still annoying to hear it ring at inappropriate times.

  I'm not a hater of modernity, nor do I long for a simple life.Modern life is great.  I love air conditioning, ice makers, and Japanese cars, among other things too numerous to mention.
Including blogging.  And I appreciate those few, those happy few, who read my blogs.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Praying for unbelievers

Some of my Facebook friends who are in distress ask for prayers from their friends.  I'm willing to comply, but frankly I'm not sure if my prayers are answered or even heard.  I'm rather dubious about the whole thing.

Not to say that I am not a believer,  or even a non-believer.  I am in the position of whoever said:  "Lord I believe--help thou my unbelief."  I have friends who are deeply religious and who derive comfort from their beliefs.  I cannot say the same of myself.  I can only say that I hope to believe, but have serious doubts.

Why would I want to believe?  I would like to believe that those  I lost will be restored to me, that I will some day see my mother, my father, my dearest cousins whose departure has left such a hole in my life.  I would like to believe that there is a realm where those who suffered will be free of pain, that sinners will suffer., that the good and virtuous will get their reward. 

I cannot understand  ardent atheists, especially those who proselytize, and take joy in converting others to their ardent hopes that this life is all there is.  Those who nourish such hatred of God that they must proclaim their disbelief from the rooftops.

I remember the late Christopher Hitchens, when he was dying of lung cancer, telling those who said they were praying for him that that was fine if it made them feel better.  Well, I was one of those who prayed for him, which in my case meant that I was sad for him, thought of him often and ardently wished he would be spared.  Or if not spared, that his suffering would be lessened.

  I never believed that my prayers or ardent wishes would be efficacious. They were not.  He subsequently suffered greatly and then died.  Would I like to believe that his witty spirit somehow survived him and still exists in some other realm?  Of course.