Farmers Market




Lewis & Quark

     Everything ends. Your life. Your friends. Your job. Your school. Even this blog post will end, sometime. The Earth will end. So will the universe. For me, and for my colleagues in other parts of Farfalle, the school year is coming to a close. As I am writing, I have only three more classes left. When you will read this, it will be over. It will have ended. The only thing that will remain are some hour-and-a-half archives and the memories stored in the participants' heads. And life will continue on. People will still go to church. Money will still be made. Those classes, however powerful and good they may be, might have little to no effect on the participants. And that ending only serves to reinforce a beginning. The beginning of summer. "Freedom!" No? And when summer ends, school will pick right back up again, and that school year will end, and so on and so forth. 
     But the thing about endings is that they aren't always neat. Endings often happen because something breaks. That's the definition of entropy, found in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. From Wikipedia, the standard of scholarly excellence (hah!): "the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time. The total entropy can remain constant in ideal cases where the system is in a steady state (equilibrium), or is undergoing a reversible process. In all spontaneous processes, the total entropy always increases and the process is irreversible." In more accessible terms, everything is dying. Everything is breaking down, speeding to an irreversible end. No matter how many things you fix, how many systems you repair, how many rooms you clean, entropy always increases. 
     And entropy seems to not only have an effect on physical things, but there appears to be a philosophical counterpart to it--order and disorder. Not only do things break, but things become more out of place. They scatter like dust in the wind. And if you're trying to make the world better, then where's the point? Nothing is unbreakable. Nothing lasts forever. Not the bravest. Not the strongest. Nations fall. Kingdoms crumble. And sometimes...that's the very best of what the world has to offer. You spend your youth (literally and metaphorically) educating yourself, all for your middle age to be a realization of the horrors of the world, culminating in your elderly days as a long, physically restricting regret. And what have you achieved? Nothing. Your children haven't learned from you. Your job was just to keep you afloat. Your pleasure didn't pay off. And then, cutting your final revelation and realization of what you should've done short, you die. And that's it. You perish for nothing.
"For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever,
Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!" (Ecclesiastes 2:16)
     Hopefully, you notice that the above was grossly inadequate. Your life does not have to be like that. Death does not mean the end.The greatest fallacy, and arguably the worst ever to plague mankind, is called the is/ought fallacy. The is/ought fallacy occurs when the assumption is made that because things are a certain way, they should be that way. It can also consist of the assumption that because something is not now occurring, this means it should not occur ever. The problem lies in when you see something wrong, and then assume, (that's the part that gets us humans, the assumptions) that because that's how a thing is, that's how it ought or should be. Machiavelli's Prince is one large is/ought fallacy. If you look for this fallacy, you will see it in a lot of places.
     One of those places is above. It is very easy to draw a "life is miserable, therefore, life ought to be miserable" conclusion from that very true example. What I just described often actually happens. Life is a misery. But that statement leaves something out. Life can be a misery. Life is sometimes a misery. There are some lives that are on the whole, a misery. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can live a good life. You cannot live a life that is always happy, or one where nothing bad ever happens to you. You can live one where things are as they should be. Some people change the world. I don't believe in the all-too-common inaction policy where God's will is going to move you to do what you want. Get up! Go do it! If you commit your way to the Lord, you will reach what you want. It won't be easy. But it will be worth it.
     And one day, after either a life that you regret, or one that you will look back on with fondness, you will die. No one escapes death. It comes after you, felling even the strongest and the bravest. But for the believer, that's not how it works. Again, a detailed discussion of salvation is unnecessary. For this purpose, the emphasized effect of salvation will be life after death. For the believer, not the end. They have hope. Even after the believer dies, they go to be in the presence of God. Free from sin, from sickness, and from pain. There is nothing lamentable about that. Or is there?
"Will You work wonders for the dead?
Shall the dead arise and praise You?
Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?
And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?" (Psalm 88:10-12)
     We should not be lusting after death. I almost want to run from death, in order to learn more and help others more. But even in that, we should not fear death. Our end is not the final end. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his final moments, "This is the end–for me, the beginning of life.” God will always take care of us--even after death. So, yes, we end. So does this post. Everything ends. Everything ends, and it's always sad. But...everything begins again too, and always happy. Be happy. 
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