That word signifies a law of the universe — the tendency of all things to decompose, to fall apart, to decay. Eventually, of course, it means the end of the universe itself. We get a glimpse of it in the fall (this is not just physics, it’s biology as well) amid the splendor of the dying maple leaves. It poses a question.

That question was articulated by Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist and screenwriter: “…if the natural tendency of the universe is disorder, then where does the order of life come from?” Einstein loved simple answers to complicated questions, and this one comes from a seven-year-old — “Isn’t God the author of life?” He designed life’s questions to be understandable to the simple. Why not everybody?

Sometimes when we consider the complexities of life, we wonder, what can the uneducated make of it? That may be why Einstein looked for the simplest answer.

The New Generation

We all have our own construction of reality, and when my son came to help me winterize the patio furniture, he asked, “Why did you get a 20×20 tarp?”

“That’s my estimate to cover the furniture,” I replied.  He quickly folded it up into a 10×10 size and covered the piled-up furniture.  I was so grateful and surprised at his estimate of the situation, and thanked him for making short work of my project.

Yes, my younger generation outshone me, and I’m grateful to him and the Creator who arranged things this way.  Praise to the Author of Life.

Good People

We were looking to repair damage done to the apartment from an upstairs water leak, and the first estimate was too high.  Putting our trust in the Lord, we answered a newspaper ad for a handyman, and fortunately he was also registered to clean up mold.  Things are proceeding at a regular pace.

We are so dependent on people being honest that we don’t even notice, most people are.  Little do we appreciate the progress we have made in this as a civilization, judging from Dickens’ characters. 

Rocky, the handyman, struck me as a hard working man, who had helped raise his brothers in a large family.  He wasn’t the oldest, but had assumed that responsible position.

Little Contributions

Small, well-written articles make for interesting reading.  A teacher retirees’ newsletter recently included a paragraph each from several New York teachers.  The first one was a teacher who started in Prattsburgh at a yearly salary of $3,000, which was considered high in her hometown, but they wanted to match a Long Island offer.  Aha!  The downturn was they gave her forty-four students rather than the State recommended thirty.

That was the year petticoats were in style.  Not for her, because the distance between desks wouldn’t allow that.  The men teachers got the same salary, but had to put up with boys who challenged them to a fight.  (How do you put that down from a racially different boy?)

I say, Lord, vive la différence!

No Killing

Once you are dead, you are an absolute zero, no longer affecting eternity, no longer able to see and understand the truth.  And the truth is people are made to be happy—forever.

How can you be happy if you are an absolute 0?   You are an absolute 0 in the world you just left (You know, of course, that energy, invisible, can neither be created nor destroyed); you achieve happiness in the new life, known as salvation, from the Latin salva, safe.  The great Russian writer, Dostoevsky, said he saw Truth in a dream, dressed as a beautiful woman, and Truth meant “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  That is second to love God with your whole heart, so that you may become aware of Truth.

Not that many people read and understand Dostoevsky.  Shame.

The Real Goal

What if you died, and nobody mentioned it?  Would it make a difference in eternity?  Such trivialities don’t affect people who are extremely happy, who have achieved the goal of their lives.

A friend of mine who was omitted from the alumni obituary must be having a good laugh about it.  He lived an exemplary life, did a lot of good as a dentist, and was probably rewarded to the maximum.  He’s not even thinking about earthly irritations.  I say onward to the green, flowery pastures!