Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who to blame?

I was writing to a friend some days ago about the intense inward struggle I have been battling lately. It has to do with kids - and the injustice of some of their situations. God's injustice, namely.

You know what he said? Probably not- I'll tell ya. He said, "kt... you're blaming the wrong person."

I thought to myself, "Oh yeah."

Herein lies the beginning of the answer to my struggle with the questions of freewill and power and the like - the questions of evil in the world; and how could a good and loving God allow so much of it?

You know, as a kid, my teachers always told my class and I, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." And the concept of guilt by association was always a dominant theme. Standing by and watching the problem is just as bad as creating the problem in the first place. Like when a kid's being picked on, and ya'll just stand around and watch it happen instead of sticking up for the little guy. So, God's the big guy, and while the little ones here are being beaten unreasonably or given no good discipline, overfed to the point of diabetes, or going hungry, He stands by and watches.

But after being callused over in belief in that very statement and softened again, I have found that that argument really doesn't work. God knew what He was doing when He gave us freewill.

I've been thinking a lot lately of The Matrix. You know, the scene when Morpheus the big black guy asks Neo if he wants the blue pill or the red pill - that all of his future would rely on that one move. If he chose one, he would forget the realization of the Matrix; he'd forget that everything he always knew was a lie. If he chose the other, he would live in truth, but he would experience overwhelming pain and be handed an overwhelming platter of hardship and impossibility.

Let's pretend for a moment that the movie was only a half hour long and there was no trilogy at all because Neo chose the pill that would make him forget. He chose the bliss of ignorance (for those of you who've watched the movie, he chose the steak) for the sake of avoiding the pain of reality. Welp, the big black guy wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. If the choice was ever really there, he wouldn't be able to do anything if Neo chose wrong.

Welp, in an extremely oversimplified sense, that's sort of how I picture God's stance. He sits facing us with a blue pill and a red pill in His hands. Both of His hands are open no matter how much He longs for us to choose one over the other. He holds them out to us and says, "What will you choose? Will you choose My way? It's harder. But it's better. Will you choose your way? It's more fun, but it leads to death. Will you live for this world whose glory is fading away? Or will you live for the next whose glory is ever-increasing."

He gave us power in choice. He reliquished His omnipotence (for a time) in His love. He gave us the freedom to decide whether or not we would give the power back to Him by letting Him rule in our lives. How it must have grieved God's heart as He gave some of His power - the freedom to choose - to us knowing full well the terrors, the injustices, the pain that His move would cause. But perhaps, He also experienced an overwhelming joy that so many would choose Him, that many would also go against the grain. And Oh! He must have experienced the joy of giving a good gift that was not a pogo stick or a balloon. His gift was much more complex; it's use carried and still carries ultimately heavy weight.


Anonymous said...

Hey Kate interesting article. Makes me think of Deuteronomy 30:18-20 vs.19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I HAVE SET BEOFRE YOU LIFE & DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING: THEREFORE CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Oh, yes the pain in choosing death and cursing not only for yourself but the pain it causes others as well.

Rob F. said...

I've had a lot of the same thoughts this year (as usual). It's helped me to better understand the reality of evil in the world and in myself. The leader of the campus group I go to was telling me about "the good anarchy." When the ruler of this world says that we have to obey his rules by harboring hate or by only looking out for self or by justly returning an evil done to us, an anarchist would say "No way, there's no rules in my world."

Diggiddy Dawg.