Things people of faith often say, but make my skin crawl. Today I will speak of the worst offender, in my humble opinion, “Everything happens for a reason” Really? Like God our Father has predestined everything that happens here at our island home. It seems if this were the case wouldn’t the “good” get good things and the “bad” get bad things? The truth is, if you live very long, you start to see that wonderful things happen to those that seem least deserving, and horrible, awful things happen to the most wonderful, at times. I am reminded of the blind man in John 9:1-3 “As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? ”“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered People are born with disabilities and they are not directly correlated with some divine “reason.” Now I would be remiss if I didn’t quote the rest of that story in verse 3-4 “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.” To me I interpret this to mean that God can take any circumstance and use it for a lesson, or a revelation, or to glorify. I think that is what people are trying to say when they use the dreaded phrase “Everything happens for a reason.” They mean God can make something good out of any situation therefore looking back it seems it was for a reason. Take my own life, about three years ago I made some very bad personal decisions that led to a lot of pain and when the pain got really bad I did the work on myself to make me into the much healthier person I am today. One might say “See that happened to you for a reason, God had a plan.” Well maybe, BUT maybe I was stupid, and made some bad decisions and when I got myself in a mess and I cried out to God to help me, he took the utter chaos I had created and showed me a path. I believe God will gladly take us – with all our brokenness – and help us find our way. I believe God will take the most vile and despicable circumstances and make good. I believe that we have the power, the Holy Spirit, the little Buddhas within us to seek the light. When life gives us lemons we can make lemonade! Because, in my mind if we have a loving God, and I do believe we that, wouldn’t he/she just predestined to us all to be “good” and have good things happen to us? If he had a reason for everything wouldn’t the bad keep getting punished until they learned their lesson. He/She do not do that – they gave us all free will, and with that free will comes good deeds and bad deeds. That’s what I think. Why do bad things happen? At times to the best people in the world? At the very worst time? Because they do. Because, we all have free will, not just those of use who would try to do our best to be our best at all times – all of us have free will. So when the young boy is molested or the young girl is kept in a basement of horrors for years, abused, I do not believe that happened for a “reason.” I believe with free will comes great things and horrible things, don’t dare tell me God planned that, not my God.