When I was young, about 9 or 10 I think, I thought often and deeply about how it was possible that everything I knew was set up on purpose to be a component in my life. This was not a stab at believing in God; I wasn’t too bothered about him even then. Perhaps it was a repercussion of the Psychology Todays that I found on my parents’ coffee table; though they had not yet become social workers when I was 11. It was mostly I think now, a desire to find some intentionality to explain things in my life. My thoughts ran something like this: Perhaps I am part of a huge experiment, and really, this is not my family. It is an experiment to see what happens when you give a child two siblings only slightly younger than her in close stair step fashion. And a mother like this married to a father like this, only maybe they are both actors and are not even really married. And perhaps part of the experiment is to see how the child (me) turns out in the end if they do not like math and are really good at reading. So then, part of it might also be that I see a really scary movie when I am 11. (Oliver Twist-the musical)
I see now that I was hoping for some kind of logic somewhere. I wanted the intentionality that people find in God when for example they find out that their daughter is dying of cancer and they can accept it by saying, “Well, it’s God’s will, isn’t it a wonderful thing?” Since I had somehow dismissed God already from the equation, I think I pictured scientists in lab coats behind the scenes somewhere with clipboards containing lists of the things that I would be subjected to throughout my life.
Lo and behold, the joke is on me just like I thought! Only the joke is different than what I thought. The scientists have all evacuated or lost their funding. My experiment is rolling on with no control group, no tabulation of results, or graphs that compare the results over time. There are no experts with enough expertise to comprehend the results, and the international conference has been cancelled.