Pain

Finally, lest your longing for the trans-temporal should awake and spoil the whole affair, they use any rhetoric that comes to hand to keep out of your mind the recollection that even if all the happiness they promised could come to man on earth, yet still each generation would lose it by death, including the last generation of all, and the whole story would be nothing, not even a story, for ever and ever.  -C. S. Lewis “The Weight of Glory”

This is the end of man absent an absolute. This is the reason for which you and I experience pain, nothing – For ever and ever.  Not only does our existence literally mean nothing, the heroic sacrifices and actions of men and women past, mean literally nothing. Not only does their sacrifice mean literally nothing, it won’t even be remembered – for ever and ever. Not only will they not be remembered, there won’t even be anyone to remember – for ever and ever. Even if we as a people perfect all that is human, conquer our inability to agree, bring peace to planet Earth and unite as Humans under one banner of perfect union, we will fade into nothingness within a relatively short time as it relates to the scale of the universe. Unless, of course we were in fact created for a reason. Outside of that, the entire human race could all at once disappear and it would mean absolutely nothing – for ever and ever.

When life is good, for a time, this is something that can be kept at bay. Though when pain comes, real pain, that is, all of your might and willpower will not satisfy the internal longing of your soul for something more. Many people hit this crossroad and come to the same conclusion as I. My ponderings follow in the wake of roughly 700,000 people who commit suicide each and every year across the globe. The common thread that all who commit suicide is this: this world is no longer worth living in. Honestly, this conclusion is only the natural solution to the human condition. Why in the world should we continue to endure the pain that this life has to offer if, in the end, there is no reason to endure? I am honestly more astounded that more people don’t kill themselves, though I think we will see this number continue to increase, exponentially, if I may act as a prophet for a moment.   

Why would I think such a thing? I myself have been locked in a battle with my own mind over the past year or so. My friends will have noticed that I basically dropped off the face of the Earth. I recently, as of August of 2020, was forced to retire from the United States Air Force after 14 years of service because of a PTSD diagnosis. I was in and out of mental hospitals; other humans generously attempting to keep me alive for some reason. I took about 75 pounds of medication every day just trying to be normal, it didn’t work. Almost every single day, at some point, my mind would come to the conclusion that attempting to stay alive and be normal was not worth the battle and that death would be a generous escape. On top of PTSD I have also had a few traumatic brain injuries (unrelated to war). To top it all off, I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I think it’s safe to say that I am pretty screwed up.  

I am not good. I am not on the “other side” of the pain. I am still very much in the middle of it. Which begs the question, why am I still alive? 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Because Jesus who is The Christ will in fact return. This time however, He will make things right- for ever and ever. 

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