Do You Ever Wonder Why You’re Alive?

You may think that question sounds weird, or depressed, or not something you’re comfortable reading or thinking about. But I went to a piano recital this evening and as I sat listening to the incredible music, a river of thoughts started washing over me and I couldn’t fight it. 

The world we live in has so much beauty, yet we witness tragedy more and more frequently all the time. I believe my propensity toward optimism and hope are spiritual gifts that I have been given. Yet for some reason, tonight was especially hard. I had just read the account of a man who was killed during the massacre yesterday in Orlando. I read the text exchange between him and his mother–a conversation laced with love and fear and heartache and a life ended too soon. Less than 48 hours ago, lives across the country were shattered, and yet here I was, sitting in a theater listening to this beautiful music. It felt like too much. 

Honestly, I really don’t feel like I am any more deserving to be alive than those young men and women whose futures were stolen from them. I love my life; I have wonderful friends and a job I adore, but so did they. I’m imperfect; sometimes I talk too much, and sometimes I keep too much hidden. But I’m sure I am not the only one. I’m just an everyday, twenty-something trying to figure things out. And it’s hard to accept all the injustice that exists in the world. 

I know, as Alma taught in the Book of Mormon, that the Lord is aware of these tragedies, and the blood of the innocent stands as a testimony against their destroyers. I know also (in theory) that we who are preserved remain because our work is not yet finished. Though I can’t actually say I’ve found comfort in these verses, I am at least trying to find within them motivation and courage to press forward and figure out what Heavenly Father is expecting or hoping from me. Why my life has been preserved and protected, and what it is that He needs me to be doing. It’s a work in progress. 

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