A recurring theme at church today seemed to be: “why do bad things happen to good people?” A valid question, especially when one considers oneself to be a “good person” (which most people seem to do), however, I wish people wouldn’t get hung up on it so much. I propose that in this age-old conundrum there are two superfluous adjectives: bad and good. Remove them and you’re left with “why do things happen to people?” I feel like this is a more appropriate question to ask, and it’s way easier to answer too. It’s tough to say if something that happens to me is good or bad. Some of the biggest crises in my life at the time seemed like very bad things but in hindsight they taught me some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned (and actually increased my happiness in the long run).
Why do things happen to people? The answer is pretty simple: because that’s why we’re here. God wants things to happen to us and so do we. We wanted things to happen to us before we were born, which is why we chose to come to earth in the first place. Chose to come and were stoked about it. Sometimes things are brutal and sometimes they’re awesome, but do we really have to classify them as good or bad? After all, they’re just things. There are a billion different analogies that are all related to life being like a ‘refiner’s fire’ that burns out impurities and helps us become stronger. It’s a good analogy but maybe at some point we could stop trying to compare it to something and look at the situation as it actually is. Things happen to people. All sorts of things. Some things we want to last forever and others we wish had never happened, but if we can see that they all happen to teach our immortal souls to be more like our Heavenly Father then they don’t seem quite as earth-shattering.