My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. – Prov. 3:1-2

CYNICISM has become welded to my personality in recent years. It has become more than just a manifestation of youthful pride and melodrama; I wake up each afternoon (I can’t sleep at night, thinking, or otherwise reading) looking at a world I am sure will fail my expectations. I am an idealist condemned to be frustrated by an environment that is helplessly finite.

My superiors have blamed the death of my parents, but it is not entirely correct that this was caused by their passing; I had been like this long before they had gone, and was perhaps only more disturbed when they did. Put it this way—we all die in the end, so what’s the use of every day?

Of course, friends would have me live by that old shtick: that it’s in the going that matters. It’s the bits of experiences we pick up along the way that will make our lives whole in the end. It’s the moments, says that movie character Hitch. Especially those that take your breath away.

And they take your breath away, all right, due to exasperation. Where is the right path? Which ones are your laws, Lord? Do I even address you correctly, or am I throwing this prayer to the wind, merciful enough to unburden me, if only for a moment?

It doesn’t help that we live in a society that does not inspire belief, only distrust of what could be. By this, I mean, on the one hand, the blind groping of man through life without so much as a guide, and on the other, the equally senseless and literal—in all senses of the word—dependence on the so-called Holy Scriptures, inspired by no less than the Divine. The first is directionless, and the second, unworthy of the gift of reason.

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The middle is likewise condemned. There is nothing out there, like the existentialists said. We have to make our own meaning. But where does this lead if there is no universal assent to it? It likewise leads to uncertainty, as each one would likely create his own system of beliefs, all of which to him are meaningful, all of which to him are truth. Even your own self, therefore, you can’t trust to be righteous, absent a higher purpose, or a higher plane of existence in which that purpose theoretically rests.

But we have to contend with interpretations, and human ones, at that. That brings us to where we started: doomsayers here denouncing what prophets of platitude there extol. You wake up on an idle afternoon wondering which of either side would win the day’s battle.

Even then, resigned cynicism is not equivalent to peace. I look for purpose beyond my measly and limited self-meaning, only now, I am at a loss as regards where to turn.

PRAYER: Divine almighty one, for quite a while I have drifted with the tide of time and circumstance. Look with mercy upon me by showing at least the way to righteousness. I will not ask for more than a sign; I am cognizant of the fact that the sweat must be of my brow, that I must be unlike them who mouth praises and prayers but only mouth them, not doing anything to assist their own climb out of the poverties from peace and personal well-being. I long for meaning. Bless this longing and effort with your grace, AMEN. Eldric Paul A. Peredo

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