So many times these days, I read something and think, "What a waste of a life." When I was watching the Elvis video with Martinal McBride the other day, I could only look at that handsome young man gifted with so much talent who died young of drugs and alcohol and think, "What a waste!" One could say the same about Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplan and any number of Hollywood personalities who died young and some who are still alive like Madonna. But there's still hope for her to turn her life around.
Of course there are those who lived long lives, like Ted Kennedy. He could have been a champion of life defending the unborn and using his influence for good. Instead, he not only led a life notorious for drunkenness and debauchery, but he also led others into sin. Who can forget the Good Friday when Ted woke up his son and his nephew to go partying and they brought back women to the Kennedy compound?
A walk on the beach ended up in a rape trial for nephew William Kennedy Smith. Smith was acquitted of the charges, but at the time the investigating police detective (The woman reported the rape the same night and was treated for injuries at the hospital.) said he was 90% sure she'd been the victim of a sex crime. Smith will forever be tainted because of Uncle Teddy's desire to go partying on one of the holiest days of the year, the day serious Catholics remember Christ's death on the cross for our sins. Consider how different things would have been if Teddy had taken Patrick and Willie to church on that holy day.
And then there are the monsters of history like Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mau, etc. What a difference if these men had used their charimatic gifts for good instead of building effecient killing machines to murder millions of their own people. But they are in a class of their own and calling their lives a waste is an understatement.
Atheist Richard Dawkins and others who go out of their way to disparage people of faith are baffling to me. I can't help asking why? What harm is it to you if others believe? Of course Dawkins, who is apparently ignorant of history, blames Christians for all the evils on the planet, an idiotic claim. But again, "What a waste!" and "What's the point?"
And how many smart people, blessed with incredible intellectual gifts, have devoted their lives to creating the most gruesome weapons or drugs (like RU 486 and Ella) with no other purpose than to kill people or technologies of human experimentation that violate every notion of human decency? What a waste! What good could they have accomplished devoting their gifts to curing disease and making life easier for those with handicaps?
I wonder what God will say on Judgment Day to these people. Will he show them the good they could have done, His beautiful plan for their lives? Imagine seeing a scenario laid out before you of all the missed opportunities and the potential good one could have done contrasted with a long list of evil.
Will hell be -- one long, agonizing regret?
Someone, I can't remember who, once said that the only tragedy in life is not to become a saint. Oh, how I wish I would take that to heart and devote my life to prayer and sacrifice and doing good for others. Selfishness is so much easier and seems pleasant at the time, but it is nothing but an illusion. I pray that I will not lie on my deathbed looking back saying, "How much of my life I wasted."
As a contrast to this sobering reflection I offer a lovely essay about Aunt Susie.