That said, I've got to confess: It was hard for me to consider hiring a higher power during the challenging time following my sexual assault.

I kept thinking, "If there is indeed a God, then where was he/she during my time of need? After all, I am a good person. So, why did this happen to me?

"Is there really a godly force out there logging all our good actions and all our good thoughts, then giving away God coupons with a bonus reward point system to frequent do-gooders to be cashed in later for exciting life upgrade prizes?" I wondered. If so, did this mean if I helped a little old lady or chose not to swear or resisted hurting someone then God would give me extra bonus good life stuff? And what if I did the opposite, and behaved badly? Would there be a cause and effect in my life as well?

And what about the world's infinite suffering? Was there some cause and effect methodology behind the madness? Could there be any appropriate reasoning behind the world's incredible pain, endless violence and heart-wrenching injustice?

My ruminations led me to discover the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz who shared many interesting perspectives about God. One of his more provocative proclamations: "God is an underachiever."

Throughout all Leibniz's writings, he, like so many of us, kept questioning how a God who was supposedly good could allow so much evil and suffering in our world.

In the end, Leibniz came to God's defense, theorizing that because God was all-knowing, he or she could evaluate all the possibilities of various worlds. So perhaps God chose the world we're in, as bad as it might seem at times, because it offered up the least possible evil.

In other words, no matter how challenging your life might feel, it could have been a whole lot worse.

Finding meaning from life's challenges


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