“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?’ ‘Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?’ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36 NKJV)
For all of my days in this world I have been struggling to understand life with very limited success. It seems that the more I learn the more I see just how much I don’t know. I think that the singer Carolyn Arends said it best when she wrote: “Life is messy. Life is mystery.”
In the messy mystery that has been my own life there has been so much that I don’t understand and won’t understand at least while I am in this world. For example, I don’t know why a house fire destroyed everything my family owned when I was just a boy. I don’t know why my soul often felt lonely and isolated in high school even when surrounded by my friends. I don’t know why my back was injured when I was a teenager and why it has given me daily pain since then. I don’t know why I lost my beautiful, loving Mom when I was only 25 years old. I don’t know why my sweet, Italian Nana had to slowly lose her memories to dementia before she too passed away. I don’t know why both of my sons have had to struggle with Autism for all of their lives here. I don’t know why I never became that rich and successful person my ego thought I should be. I don’t know why just when my relationship with my Dad was achieving the closeness I always wished it would have that he too would be taken away by cancer.
Yet, there are other things that are also a mystery to me. I don’t know why every time I see the sunrise my own heart rises with it. I don’t know why whenever I pray my heart feels happier and my spirit feels closer to Heaven. I don’t know why my sons, daughter, dogs, and cat love me even when I act like a jerk at times. I don’t know why so many people around this world have found inspiration and joy in my simple writings. I don’t know why God loves us completely and unconditionally whether we deserve it or not. I don’t know why when we love too we not only change ourselves for the better but the world around us as well. I don’t know why love brings us joy in the best of times and also in the worst of times. I don’t know why everything in this life both “good” and “bad” can help us to learn, to love, to grow, and to become better Children ofGod.
I guess when it comes right down to it life is unknowable, no matter how long or hard we try to understand it. All we can do then is embrace the mystery. All we can do is embrace the mess.
By Joseph J. Mazzella