Wednesday, November 28, 2007

robinson crusoe - despair

After being castaway upon an uninhabited island Robinson finds himself in despair considering the hopelessness of his situation. Alone on a deserted island with no apparent escape in sight. The following excerpt is from chapter six...

"I had a dismal prospect of my condition, for as I was not cast away upon that island without being driven, as is said, by a violent storm quite out of the course of our intended voyage, and a great way, viz. some hundreds of leagues out of the ordinary course of the trade of mankind, I had great reason to consider it as a determination of heaven, that in this desolate place, and in this desolate manner I should end my life; the tears would run plentifully down my face when I made these reflections, and sometimes I would expostulate with my self, why providence should thus compleatly ruine its creatures, and render them so absolutely miserable, so without help abandon'd, so entirely depress'd, that it could hardly be rational to be thankful for such a life."

I find that Mr. Defoe's portrayal of someone lonely and in despair is very realistic. Robinson infers from his situation that he was driven to this island by God himself as some sort of punishment. He accuses God as to why He would "ruin" someone in such a manner. Miserable, abandoned, depressed Robinson lashes out at God for putting him in such a predicament.

Isn't that just like us? Don't we blame God for situations that we have caused? When things are going well we take the credit, but when things are not so good we quickly blame God, not ourselves for where we are. Ever been miserable? Ever felt abandoned? Ever been depressed? Who do we blame for our state? Typically others and often God. And if we are honest we can all admit that we have been "deserted" in our lives. And if we have then surely others have as well. Does God steer our ship into destruction leaving us wrecked? Or do we make the decisions that place us in despair then simply accuse God? Honestly we live in a world full of misery, abandonment and depression. Learning how to cope with these situations is a part of making our way through this life. Helping others as they traverse this life is part of our Christian life.

May we know with certainty that there is a God and He is able and willing to help us and sustain us and guide us through this life even if we accuse Him of our despair.

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