We are the lucky ones. We overcame incredible odds to be born at all. And but for an infinite number of coincidences, we would probably not be here.

If my grandfather’s family had not come to England from Norway, he would not have met my grandmother from Somerset. My father would not have been born. Having not been born, he could not have joined the merchant navy, sailed to Rotterdam and met my mother, who would not have been born had my grandfather and grandmother not got it together. Add to that World War 2, in which either or both could have died, and I know just how lucky I am to have been here at all. Add to that, the small matter of biology and it was almost impossible for me to be born. But I was.

A price for being born is death. Sadly, no one gets out of here alive. Our time is finite, although we don’t know how finite it is going to be. Life can be here today and gone tomorrow. Life can be here tomorrow and disappear slowly, agonisingly, painfully. I have seen both.

We can have faith that we will survive our deaths and, if we are good, we will ascend to heaven. If we have been bad, we will descend to hell. However, faith is belief without evidence and whether or not we do God, it is best to make the best of the one life we definitely do have.

Don’t expect fairness. Whether it’s nature or whether it’s God, we are not guaranteed to live a long life if we behave ourselves. Nor are we doomed to die young if we misbehave. If God really did take the best people, for no obvious reason, what kind of God would he be? Would he really look down at someone doing great things and think to himself: “You know what? I like this guy. He’s very young, having a great time ever but I need him up here. I’m going to give him a horrible, incurable disease or arrange for that bus to run him over.” I don’t think so.

The only miracle, if you can call it that, is that we made it at all. The miracles of religion represent only the ‘God of the gaps’, where science can’t yet explain something, so we assume, on the basis of no evidence, that “God must have done it. There’s no other explanation.” Oh yes there is.

The simple truth is that we are the lucky ones. We got to be born, we got to live to a certain age, perhaps even a grand old age, we managed to procreate and, if we are very lucky, we got to love and be loved. Countless billions of people never made it as far we did.