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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Deep Thought Thursday ~ Mind Boggling

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Deep Thought Thursday ~ Mind Boggling

Yipee! Someone is following this blog! Thank you Ty Why for becoming the first follower of this blog. So why, Ty, what was it that lured you here? I wish I had a gift or something to give you. Here's a fist bump ==@@==. Sorry, that's the best I could do. I know that my girlfriend and some of my close friends read this blog, but they don't "follow" it (hint, hint).

Okay, time to get into the nitty-gritty. Last week I tackled the question "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?" (Jon Acuff over at "Stuff Christians Like" has an interesting post dealing with the same question. Click here to see it.) I explained how God doesn't smother us like overprotective parents. He allows us to figure things out on our own. So maybe we should ask the question "Why do people do bad things to other people?" Decisions. We all make them, some good, some bad. It's our decisions that effect the world around us. Sometimes we make decisions that hurt others whether it be accidentally or purposely. Now I need to ask you to make a decision:

(Cue Matrix movie reference)

You take the blue pill, the blog ends and you believe whatever you want to believe. You'll wake up in bed, you won't remember any of this, you'll probably have some drool on your pillow. Seriously, that's gross, clean it up! Or you take the red pill and experience how deep the blog goes.

So, you have chosen the red pill. Good. Now you will see where we are going with this. Plus you just got your daily dose of Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, Iron, Zinc, and Riboflavin. Oh, the blue pill? It was just Nyquil. Anyway, we were talking about decisions. We make them everyday, multiple times a day. Some are big or small, some we make unconsciously while others require much thought. It's all a part of our God-given free will. But if God knows the future and how everything is going to turn out and he knows all the decisions we are going to make, wouldn't that be fate? That's what I want to do today. I want to take last week's conversation and steer towards the idea of free will vs. fate. Like I said before, I don't have the answers, just some thoughts.

I've mentioned Rob Bell a few times on this blog. He has a video out called "Everything is Spiritual" I highly recommend it. Part of this video has Rob talking about a marker. He holds up a whiteboard marker lengthwise to the audience and asks what shape the marker appears to be when held that way. It appears to be in the shape of a rectangle. Then he turns the marker so all you can see is one end of it. It appears to be in the shape of a circle. Then Rob asks if the marker is a rectangle or a circle. His answer to that question is, "Yes". Then he asks if there is free will or fate. Again his answer is "Yes".

Now we all know that a marker is more of a sphere shape because it is a three dimensional object. He was just trying to make an interesting point. So, can free will and fate co-exist? Can shadows be cast without light? How would you know what good is without experiencing the bad? I believe free will and fate can both exist at the same time. We have the free will to make decisions and each of those decisions will eventually lead us to an outcome, or fate.

"No fate but what we make" is what I remember Sarah Connor saying in Terminator 2. (Wow, a Matrix and Terminator reference in the same post, rock on!) It boggles my mind the more I think about it. Does anyone remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books? I used to love those. If you come to a bad ending you could always go back and make a different decision.

"You see an abominable snowman approching."

If you want to run away from the creature, turn to page 82.
If you want to introduce yourself to the creature and shake its hand, turn to page 112.

PAGE 112

"As you approach the abominable snowman you extend your hand to him. It extends its hand to you as well. After a brief handshake the abominable snowman proceeds to tear you limb from limb. The End."

With that, you can go back and try page 82. You can decide your own fate in those books by making different decisions. But of course that's not how real life works. We can't go back, we can't rewind. It sounds silly but just before something tragic happens in a movie I've already seen, I think to myself "Maybe they'll make the right decision this time". I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does this. No matter how many times you watch the movie, the same thing is always going to happen. I think this is how God views our lives, like a movie he's already seen.

What I mean by that is God is not constrained by time. Just as he is with us when we are infants, at the same time he is with us as elderly individuals. He can see the entire timeline of our lives all at once, even the events we have not yet experienced. He can go on ahead of us, he knows what's going to happen. And as much as he probably wants to say "Maybe they'll make the right decision this time" when he's watching the movie of our lives, the same thing is always going to happen. I think God also allows things to happen so that it doesn't take away the freedom he has given us to choose what we do with our lives.

I know it sounds like I'm talking as if God is far away, just watching us live out our lives, but he is very close. I think it's ridiculous when people say things like, "We were at our Bible study and things were getting pretty intense and then God showed up." Really, God showed up did he? Sooooo...he wasn't there before? God never "shows up". He's always there. Even though he let's us live our lives and make our own decisions, he's always speaking to us and guiding us.
If you knew someone who knew what the future holds, wouldn't you want to put your trust in them...hmmmm?

That's about all I have to say on the subject for now. What I had to say today either sounded really deep and intellectual, or I sounded like a complete moron. I'll let you decide.

If what I said sounded deep and intellectual, turn to page 61.
If I sounded like a complete moron, turn to page 134.

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