If I ever get a chance to talk to God, or Goddess, or whoever is in charge around here, I know what my first question will be: why me? Why you? Why do individuals vary so much in the gifts and talents department? Why were some of us apparently taking a bathroom break when they were passing out looks, or intelligence or common sense or athletic ability or stick-to-it-ness or curiosity or humor?
I think of this as the "play the hand you are dealt" issue-- everyone gets dealt a hand of cards, some good, some not-so-good. Some of us win the proverbial lottery in some areas, but perhaps not in others (think Tom Cruise, Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver, to name just a few). Some of us don't seem to get any sort of decent hand, and these unfortunate souls seem to walk under a perpetual dark cloud doing an excellent imitation of Eeyore. And we think to ourselves (well, I do, in any case), “that poor, poor guy, so glad I’m not him.”
But therein lies the rub. Why did I warrant grace and not that ill-fated person over there? And on the other side of this question, why didn't I get more of the beauty, genius and fabulous wealth cards while my hand was being dealt? If you read my bio you'll know I spent a few years at a seminary (being their token non-Christian, mind you, which in the end did not work out so well for me, but that is a story for another time). In Christian theology, this question of why Jesus and not someone else is called the "scandal of particularity" and the answer can be grossly simplified as "why not?"
Why not, indeed? I have no blessed idea, in fact. And I have a lot of questions about this for God when I get to talk to her. And these questions, like so many others, are thrown into high relief when reading about supernatural beings, who got double helpings of beauty, brains, brawn, health, and competence when those were being handed out, it seems.
Reading about all of the extra attributes of vampires, weres, the fae, etc., makes me more acutely aware of all that I don't have and could certainly send me into a death spiral toward the ground from 50,000 feet if I spent too much time dwelling on it.
But then I have to consider that my plummet to the earth at terminal velocity would be terminal in fact only because of the lofty position from which I started. If I weren't so high up to begin with--having gotten dealt some pretty good cards--then I wouldn't have so far to fall and splattering all over the pavement would not be as much of a potential problem.
When I bemoan the fact that I'm not a size four with an IQ of 160 and my own private jet, chef and personal shopper, I also need to remember that I also don't have cancer, special needs children, welfare checks or any other really horrible fates that cause me to think "there but for the grace of God go I". I need to remember to accept the less good with the good and internalize the classic Dr. Seuss book, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? That is a great book to remind me that it can always—always—be worse, and to provide me with some perspective. Just like my beloved fantasy novels, where I find so many of my truths. Not to mention so much of my perspective.
So, while I still have a lot of questions for the universal Dealer, for today I'll content myself with appreciating the hand I was dealt, and playing the very best game I can with what I've been given.