Not you, but god.
God does these things. You don’t.
Don’t ever think you do them.
Wowwww – how many times have I heard that?
I remember my friend’s 13th birthday party. All anyone could say was “We are grateful god made you this way, we recognize that god gave you the strength to be the person you are, we are happy that god has chosen this path for you. God gave you this, god allowed this to happen for you, god opened that door.”
Meanwhile, you have done nothing. But let god guide you. While you sat there. And didn’t make those decisions to be the person you are, to actively choose good over bad, to work hard…
I remember talking to a friend about my “purpose” that I have chosen in life. I was determined that I had found my “calling”. “But what if it’s not a ‘calling’ but actually just god telling you to do that? What if it’s just god’s purpose for you? Maybe that’s why you’re here and you’re just fulfilling his duty, whether you know it or not.”
Meanwhile, I am just a puppet. I haven’t been a good person on my own, god has just made me to be that way. I’ve been seeking out these opportunities because it’s what he wants me to do, not because I myself have chosen that path…
Today, my hometown was shook up over a school stabbing. One of the kids who was stabbed pulled a fire alarm to evacuate the school. I was reading the comments and several people said something to the effect of “God used you well. God will continue to use you well.” and “god bless, god knows what he’s doing…”
Meanwhile, disregard all credibility to this kid because he had nothing to do with it. He had no choice. God used him as a puppet. No need to remember this kid for his own choices, because god gave him no option and chose for him.
I get it. I swear I do. I get why people believe god is doing everything and making all of the choices. But I have a few major problems with the whole concept:
2. Omniscience and omnipotence.
Let me break it down for you…
It was made very clear in the Book of Exodus that Moses did not want to listen to god’s direction for him. He was basically all “Hell no, bro”, so god spoke directly to him and finally compromised by asking Moses to direct while Aaron, Moses’s brother, did all of the talking to the Hebrews.
What’s my point?
Moses had a choice.
Does that mean I have to actively hear god in my head and deny him to know that the choice is mine? I don’t think that’s the case. I think if there’s a god directing my life, I would probably know when I was obeying him – or at least feel like something extraordinary guided me. Something more than adrenaline and pure survivalism.
Omniscience and Omnipotence
This was actually the first argument a friend of mine made against god. She’s an atheist or agnostic of some sort who works in a scientific, logic-based field. She could throw the whole concept out the window on there being a single god guiding all of us merely because, as she said it, “Like there’s really a god paying that much attention to every single person on earth!”
I have to admit, it’s a very compelling argument.
But, god. God’s omniscience, omnipotent, and we can never expect to understand all of his ways. (Remember my “catchall” argument from previous entries?) Yet we were made in his image… but only his image? I guess Eve didn’t touch the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis, so we weren’t able to understand how god works… She had tastebuds for the Tree of Life instead.
This is definitely the part that stings the most. And the one that is so hard to argue about. I could say it’s hard to see that a god is making my choices for me, and I could say that it’s hard to wrap my head around the capabilities of god…and any listening Christian or other would sympathize with my incompetence. But for me to stand up and say “that’s not being fair”, that saying god told that boy to pull the fire alarm or that god is the reason I and my friend have made our good life choices as such is taking away what we have done, well they’d have a real problem with that.
Because god is the reason for everything.
Without the creator, I cannot be, and for me to take advantage of that, to take a stake in the claim, well that’s just absurdly inappropriate. (Mmmk. It reminds me of the same attitude that we don’t have to correct the world because god will. We can just all wait for the second messiah, for god to intervene. Right…)
I’m not saying one way is right over the other, but what I am saying is that I sympathize for anyone who feels like they’re achieving something and then feels crushed because someone else takes the credit away from them. Maybe the credit does go to a god or gods or aliens or mind-controlling microbes, whatever… but the point of the matter is, we emphasize so much about how we need to make good choices and live our own lives that it seems a little hypocritical to throw into the mix “but, god…he’s why”.