What Work Has Taught Me

This summer has been filled with strange insights in unexpected places.  I have been worked to exhaustion time and time again, my skin and bones painfully repining against my abuse.  As the summer solstice came and passed, my muddy and bloody pursuits brought me face to face with a number of serious and difficult questions about the world in which I live.  One might wonder how building playgrounds—be as it may in the merciless Texas sun—would elicit existential quandaries; I would never have thought it possible until it happened to me.

As far as problematic philosophical questions go, one of the most perennially pestiferous—that is, the problem of evil in the world—has caused me little trouble.  Evil itself has handed me a few blows, but the concept of it and its existence has not pestered me unduly; however, of late, a tangential cousin of the problem of evil has appeared to stir up mistrust, spreading even so far as God.  But first I must clarify my position.

This summer has incited the creation of a theory.  As a result of numerous experiences throughout my two months of strenuous physical labor (much involved with sharp and heavy objects) I posit the following as a Natural Law of the Universe:

Firstly, injuries are inevitable.  Secondly, after suffering any injury, the likelihood of repeatedly injuring yourself in the same spot  is exponentially proportional to the inconvenience, aggravation, and pain it would cause.  Thirdly, with annoying injuries on vital parts of one’s body (primarily meant to include the face, the hands, and the feet), the probability of repeatedly hurting the same spot (until the frustration and pain drive you nearly to tears) approaches absolute certainty.

Personal experience, rigorous double-blind studies, and confabulation with my brother (who is the same line of work) have confirmed this.  I laughed when the theory formed in my head.  Recognition of this truth caused me some grim humor for a while; soon, though, it began to cause me questions.  How, I asked myself while driving steel screws into steel pipes and repeatedly slipping so as to drive the knuckle on my middle finger painfully into a pipe, can this be?  I go hours without injuring myself; then, just after finally scraping my knuckle on some wire mesh, I suddenly injure the same spot over and over again within twenty minutes in a half dozen different ways.  It is as if one small injury suddenly gets in and then immediately invites all his friends over for a party.  To my chagrin (though I have been known as something of a wild party animal in my own day), their parties involve a great deal of smashing things into my already wounded body.  My behavior does not change, and yet the injuries come in quick succession.  It is as if some malevolent force took pleasure in my pained frustration.

Ah, that was it.  In the end, I was faced with the fact that there is no natural reason this should prove true.  And, yet, it does, as my scarred fingers will cry evidence for years to come.  If this be true, then the source of this happening is a grave problem.  The atheist must shrug their shoulders in defeat for they have no explanation.  The orthodox Christian must grant it to God’s sovereignty and ineffable wisdom.   The Eastern religions must chalk it up to karma.  For myself, I cannot grant that God actively pursues  the annoying harm of His people, and so there must be another option.  I have decided it must be fairies.  There can be little doubt.

 

P.S.  Dear readers, I shall leave you about two thirds through what I originally intended because it is late now and I must go to bed so that I may work in the morning.  Goodnight.

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