We watched a free climber summit Half Dome on TV last night. It made me think that we are so out of touch with our mortality that some of us have to be on the edge of death to feel alive. Sally pointed out that it used to be that everyone was on the brink of death all the time. Disease, famine, war, and weather could and did wipe out anyone and everyone regularly. Day-to-day living could easily turn deadly; travel, for instance, or birth, or a simple cold were all unavoidable and unpredictable. There was no choice but to recognize death as a real and close companion. Maybe its known and accepted presence helped previous generations to be closer to God.
Our living generation doesn’t seem to be as interested in God as literature and art suggests people used to be. Sure there are plenty of entire cultures made up of individuals who are very interested in religion, but where’s God in the suburbs?
Where’s God in the academic, professional, financial and personal goals for our children? Where’s God in our attempts to build economic, legal and community infrastructure?
I feel inclined to repeat that I’m not talking about religion. I am sure that its influence is felt throughout all of these systems. I’m sure the conscientious congregate can seek out and find religious morals and marks anywhere they look for signs. But what about God in our impious lives? How can we connect to God if our conversation is entirely based on our outward experiences, our physical appearances and our superficial goals?
Maybe our quest to overrule God- by prolonging mortality, for instance- has blinded us to the whole point of the game. After all it’s only God that’s eternal, not us. Maybe our struggle to be divine has laid a shadow over life itself, and now you’ve got to try to kill yourself to feel alive.