God, Assessyphus and Determinism

I dont know how you feel but sometimes I cant help feeling that my life is just an uphill climb. Everytime something goes right, there is something or someone else that brings you down. Im starting to feel like Assessyphus in the greek fable, who tried to push his rock to the top of the hill.

As you may know, I am in love. She is a wonderful lady, funny, charming, intellegent. We live 4800 miles apart but I’ve never felt so close to another spirit. Our romance started in our heads at first, and we became close friends. We spent hours talking to each other every day both on the phone and online, laughing and crying, arguing and playing.  Soon we found our relationship blossoming into a special cerebral love. A close important understanding as to what we wanted, what our dreams were, what we believed in. We worked through our relationship with the distance acting like our own chaperone.

We finally met around Easter. All our lingering doubts and concerns as to whether what we were thinking was actually real vanished in the first moments of our meeting. As I walked towards her the lady on customs told me “shes been waiting over there for a while, and shes very nervous!”, I barely heard her. I knew as my heart exploded with love that this was the woman I would marry. Over the next few weeks I met her family, all of which seemed to like me well enough and all of which knew by the way we were together that this was the real thing. Its odd how it seems so obvious to them having seen us together, and how difficult it is for people over here who havent.

By the end of the trip we were both planning our big day, but since that day I find myself constantly facing brick walls. Most appear to be just plain bad luck, but you cant help but wonder if god himself isnt trying to say something.

Firstly, since I returned back home from the states, I have had car trouble. Not little bits of car trouble, but great mountains of car trouble. I have had to fork out over £1000 on it since Easter. Now this is on a car, that if I were to sell right now, would only go for about £1000. If it wasnt a taxi, and if I wasnt planning to leave the country next year, i might just think to hell with it, and get another job.

In fact, that is exactly what I would have done this time last year, when the car I bought for £4k the year previously decided to cough and splutter on me. I took it to my Vauxhall Dealership who told me it was a problem that would cost me £800. Ok, i thought, thats expensive, but its just about worth it. I got a cab and paid my hard earned cash over to their desk. The VERY next day the same mechanic told me they had spotted another problem and this one would cost another £1000. If I had known the repairs would cost £1800, i wouldnt have bothered. So now im stuck… pay £1000 and get my repaired car, or lose my £800, AND my car.

So now to have yet ANOTHER massive expense is pushing me towards despair.

Then there is me… I gave up smoking in October because my girl is asthmatic. I loved smoking, and not a day goes by without me wanting a cigarette, but despite this I knew I could save money, and I wouldnt kill my girl when I finally get to be with her. I started to take regular exercise in June. I swam two sometimes three times a week, and I took up Badminton. Now I have snapped my achilles tendon, and I cannot work for two months minimum.

It was only the second time I went.

You may say that I tried to do too much too early, you may say that if she really loved you she wouldnt make you do these things. She didnt make me. I made me… I made a decision.  I have always been overweight, and happy with it too. I have never found a skinny body very attractive, and so never really aspired to be like that. I was also not very talented in sports and so rarely strived to get fit. I have always been happy enough.

The one time I decided that I would lose weight was when I lived with my best friend Steven. I had broken up with my first important love and was very depressed. We lived on the edge of town, and I found that I could run at night when no-one saw me, or heard me more importantly. I decided I would go a certain distance, and if I got tired I would walk a little, but the distance would be covered… twice a week. It took me aound 45 mins at first, but I got it down to 30. I found myself changing diet automatically. I just didnt want the sandwich or the chips, instead I had more energy overall. I went out more and was much more confident and friendly. I enjoyed it, but things change. Work got busier, we moved out of the flat, and I found a new girlfriend. Times change, and I had lost all inclination.

I never felt so inclined to improve my health until now. And just like the smoking, I just did it. When I make a decision to change for the rest of your life, you want it to start straight away, so I started swimming. I knew the weight loss would come eventually, but week after week of not getting anywhere made me want to step things up a gear. So I started playing badminton, a sport I love. The first session nearly killed me, I was stiff from head to toe for 5 days! I was walking around like Frankenstein, but I loved it… I knew it had made a real difference and I also knew that I wouldnot give in, never give in. The second session, my tendon goes.

It felt like something snapped. It popped like bubble wrap, and I was on the floor. I expected more pain, in fact at first I had in my head one of those pictures you see of footballers with broken legs, but after the initial shock… i nearly fainted thinking I had ruined any chance of being with my girl… I was able to get up and hobble to my car. It was after a week that I finally decided I ought to see a doc. Since then its been plaster for two weeks, and now this stupid boot for what may be another 8 weeks.

In the states, my girl has had trouble herself. I wont tell you about it on here as its not my place to mention it, but I can guarantee you, you would consider it very unlucky also. Thank god her health isnt suffering (i am knocking on wood as I say that)

We had planned to marry in May next year. All things had to do was to stay the same.

Now we discuss things with such sadness, as we havent got a clue how to plan anything when you simply dont know where the next disaster is going to come from. She tells me all the time that I should just pack up my stuff and go, but I just cant. And just when you need the person who you love by your side, both of us find ourselves alone.

I dont know what to do for the best. For someone who has always had a plan, Im lost and for the first time scared that we may never get to be with eachother.

As I think about it. About how easy it would be to give up. How everything and everyone is telling me not to be hasty, to reconsider, to take my time. I think about God, and I think about determinism. We often get the two mixed up. If you believe in God, a christian god, then you believe we all have choices. The choice to do good, the choice to follow Jesus, the choice to believe, by the same reasoning we have the choice to turn our backs on God. God gave us his son so the christians say, to show us the way. So we know there is no extra help coming from him.

I am always reminded of the bible story about the prodigal son. In the story a farmer has two sons, the younger of which demands to have his inheritance early. The farmer reluctantly gives it and the son travels into the city where he wastes his money on “riotous living”… my fathers favourite phrase… eventually he returns home to his dad who greets him with open arms.

The story is specifically a parable about returning to the faith, but its also about choices. In it the son has clearly chosen to live his own life and make his own decisions, a theme often reitterated in the bible. He eventually returns home, having chosen that life working for his father as a slave is preferable to living on the streets. As I look around in my life though, I wonder where my choices are, when so much goes wrong, and so many things get in your way to stop you from making the one choice you have decided upon.

I have heard it said so many times that God works in mysterious ways. Its why he takes innocent children in volcanos and earthquakes they say. It why he allows so many to die in Africa through drought and disease, and maybe its why he is stopping me from being with my true love.

Alternatively, we sometimes call this fate, determinism or destiny. It basically says that what will be will be, after all… if this is so hard then surely it cant be right. That just like the water that finds the path of least resistance to maintain the optimum efficiency of energy usage, so we should find the path thats easiest for us. When I fell in love with this wonderful woman I found it to be the easiest thing I had ever done. Doesnt that count for anything? isnt that my fate?

I feel desperate and defeated right now. I feel lost and alone and confused. And the only thing I know is that I am happiest when I am with her. I cannot believe that God conspires against me like an evil jealous zealot. If that is who God is then I dont want to know him, and likewise I cant believe we are destined to be apart like some shakespearian tragedy. We must find a way, have to find a way.

Because tomorrow, I will get up, and I will go downstairs and I will face my day knowing that the only chance, the only reason for me to be there at all is because of her.

And no God, and no Fate is going to stop me. You wanna see determinism. Its right here, facing you down and telling you “I will never give up”

~ by eggplantinspace on August 6, 2009.

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