Tuesday, March 22, 2005

free will vs. God's purpose

“Wait,” Eddie said, pulling back. “Just tell me one thing. Did I save the little girl? At the pier. Did I save her?”

The Blue Man did not answer. Eddie slumped. “Then my death was a waste, just like my life.”

“No life is a waste,” the Blue Man said. “The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.” (Taken from Mitch Albom’s “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” p. 50)


The last few days I’ve exchanged some very thought-provoking emails with a friend. We discussed about God-given free will and God’s purpose. For those Purpose-Driven-Life fanatics, I’m not sure if I’m threading your paths. But rest assured, I’ve never read the book.

What is our purpose in life? Some people believe nothing happens by accident. Nothing is ever random. I’m one of those people. But I don’t believe that God willed everything to happen that way. We have and had a choice.

We were given a life. For me, our purpose is to love God, love others and in every aspect of our life, glorify His name. I am not one to wait for things to happen and put all my faith in prayer alone. I make sure to do all that I can then I lift it up to Him.

With our life, we were given freedom. Freedom comes with responsibility. This is where the random-ness of our lives is eliminated. We are all connected in some way. We all affect each other’s lives. There is a nexus in each one’s life. You may not know it, but there is. So, with each action, there is a reaction. And we bear the consequences of our action, negative and positive alike. In that, we are not alone.

I found a nice piece on the Internet that sums up what I believe in.

(taken from the friendster profile of mai)

life is a series of choice,
every waking moment of it,
every person is called to make a choice,
in fact everything we do or say is a choice,
every choice we make
has a positive or negative consequence.
a wrong choice
can bring us a lifetime
of grief & suffering.
a right choice can give us
lifelong fulfillment & gladness.
there is no escaping the consequence
that will surely follow ur choice.
every choice we make counts.
it is important then that we exercise
wisdom & prudence in our every choice.

I think that God gave us that freedom to decide what to do with our lives and in doing so, we must remember that we affect others in everything that we do. I guess it serves as a reminder to our conscience, to always bear in mind what our actions may bring.

And if we are at the receiving end, we must think of how we will react. “Life is what we make of it,” goes one saying. I wrote once, "When life deals us with an effin' sh***y card, who's to say we should stay in the pile of crap? let's take a shower!!!" Sorry for the graphic description.

Back to God’s will and our purpose…My friend and I discussed extensively about deaths, accidental deaths in particular. What about them? They did not choose to die. IT is in this event that a person is rendered choice-less because the choice to live has been taken from them by the aggressor/murderer/etc. This starts a chain of reactions and consequences – an orphaned child, a widow, a widower. But we always have a choice to react. One could take revenge, others leave it to the justice system.

What about those children with cancer? What did they do to deserve such a terrible affliction? If the cancer is caused by contaminated water near the family’s home, isn’t it the polluter’s fault? But it’s not just all finger-pointing. And before we point our blame to God, let's look at what we've done.

What about those stillborn babies? Whose fault is that? This is a hard one to call because sometimes, the human mind cannot possible comprehend all the trappings of life. At this point, God steps in. We then turn to faith. There must have been a reason. Maybe God knows it but we don’t. Not yet anyway. In the book “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” the Blue Man says, “in death, we make sense of our life.”

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