Stuff breaks.  Many of us have seen laboratory test platforms where engineers run experiments to find failure points in products. Some platforms are gigantic to test buildings against earthquakes or hurricanes. Others are wet to test ship models. Some, although a fake satire, like the American Tourister luggage in the gorilla cage. Though that one may be the most real case of luggage mishandling. Cindi and I shipped a metal steamer trunk from Los Angeles to Torremolinos in 1974.  It was 36 x 24 x 24 when it left and 30 x 22 x 22 when it arrived.  Converted from a box to more like a ball, all eight corners were bashed in. Did someone drop it from 10,000 feet above Malaga airport?

The important word in that question is “someone.“   The trunk did not choose to get crushed. A friend told me, “I never heard my father get angry with an inanimate object, but with people, he was different when it came to failure.“

We have heard about planned obsolescence. Supposedly, companies make products like vehicles so they will fail, forcing us to buy another one. There is an art to this because if it fails too soon, we won’t buy their car again. 

I have a theory about human lifespan. After Adam and Eve ate the apple, God was heartbroken and angry. His perfect creation was flawed. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived 175, 180, and 147 years respectively.  God must’ve been grieved to see all the suffering that happened in such long lives, so He shortened life spans down to the longevity we have today. Our days on earth are modest compared to those of our very-early forefathers.

This length of life leaves us with a taste to return to the perfect Garden of Eden. We yearn for Heaven as the final stop to this worldly realm. God‘s grace is that we don’t live 180 years with all the pain that such a lifespan would hold.  My thought is how He seems to take us out because He knows what would happen next.  He puts on the brakes.  When a young person dies “before his or her time,” I believe God is actually saving them from a lot of grief that was to follow. God loves the early-departed.  It is we who miss them.

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