Q: “Our present imperfection and groanings are designed to prepare us for our future sonship. God intends those things we see as wrong within us and in the world in which we live as purposeful, in order to create in us a hunger for heaven.
The groaning of the creation is due to a divine sentence of corruption and futility. Creation has been in the process of deterioration since the fall of man. Our own bodies bear testimony to the process of corruption. My body is on the downhill slope of its existence—my hair falls out—my stomach sticks out—my brain blanks out more of the time. Creation groans because of the irreversible process of deterioration and decay. In essence, like men, the earth is dying.
Corruption and deterioration results in a life characterized by futility. Futility is the opposite of hope. Futility means that no matter how hard we try to resist or reverse the process of corruption, it is inevitable. We may buy a new house, but soon termites find it and begin the process of decay. If not, mildew or dry rot begins to appear. Then there are earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. Our new car soon begins to leak oil. The transmission starts to slip. The seat covers become soiled. Rust begins to work away at the metal. Sooner or later, the car will find its way to the wrecking yard and then to the crusher. The work of our hands, in the long run, is futile.”
A: First, there is no “future sonship” – we were born into our “sonship.” Secondly, it’s a little too convenient for an upper-middle class white American to have an interpretation of the gospel to go something like this, “The world is messed up. There’s no fixing it, it’s meaningless to try, it’s inevitable; I’m biding my time till God whisks me off to Heaven.” Here’s the deal – you and I (all of us) are responsible for the suffering in this world, and it’s here because of our spiritual ignorance. WE CAN FIX IT! We don’t have to hate, abuse, oppress, harm or wound people or any living things.
The world is characterized by impermanence. That’s just the way it is. That’s why your body, mind and car falls apart – like everything else, they are characterized by impermanence. This is only a problem because we attach our identity and source of meaning/happiness to things like our body, mind, and car. Consider that it was in this world of impermanence in which Jesus said over, and over, and over, and over again that the Kingdom of God had come!
The world is groaning alright, but for what? For you and I to wake up from the illusion and see things as they truly are. Listen, there is pain in this world that is a natural part of the human experience. If you hit your thumb with a hammer, there will be emotional pain. If a loved one dies, there will be emotional pain. But all the other stuff you mentioned is a result of our spiritual ignorance.
The world is characterized by impermanence. Deal with it! How? It was never meant to be the source of your peace, happiness and well-being. Start with that consideration. Live your life as if every human being is your mother or father, sister or brother. When it is within your power and opportunity to do good, do it. Respond to the situations of life as they require. This is how Jesus lived.
St. Francis put it this way:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.