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I know that I am not a fatalist

June 14, 2010 1 comment

I have been thinking quite a bit about God’s will in my life in the last several months.  I have come to the conclusion that I am not a fatalist.  I do not believe that our lives are completely predetermined.

I truly believe in free will and that our choices matter.  I do not think that God has our entire lives mapped out from before we are born and we somehow must struggle to find our one true path in order to fulfill destiny.  I also do not believe that every choice that we make is between a “good” and an “evil” choice.  Sometimes, there are two good choices or two evil choices (in which, neither would be an appropriate choice).

My opinions on this have grown stronger through my own actions as a father.  Jesus asked if a father would give his son a stone when he asked for bread and how much more does the Father give good gifts?  Yes, I know that God is all knowing but if He wants us to ask, then doesn’t that mean that what we want matters to Him?  Not in a “Oh, Lord, I need a fishing boat” sorta way, mind you.  However,  I know that when my children express interest in something that could be good for them, I am willing to explore it and if they have a passion for it, I will do anything in my power to help them.  We have driven for hours so that my girls could spend minutes doing gymnastic routines and will probably do the same for my son in baseball if his passion stays remotely as strong as it is at the ripe age of 6.  We have bought art kits and help turn items that were never meant to be part of a craft project into just that because one of the kids had a creative idea that we saw as good.  We do these things because our children have a passion or desire for something and as their parents, we want them to do what is both good for them and what they enjoy.  Doesn’t it stand to reason that God wants the same for us?  That may be oversimplifying things quite a bit.  Obviously, what we want needs to be pleasing to God in the same way that what my children want must be pleasing to me.  Just because my son could be real passionate about sitting on the couch and watching television hours on end and his oldest sister may be passionate (and talented) about tormenting him and his other sister, I am most certainly not going to allow those things, let alone encourage them.

If I am wrong, then why do we have free will?  Why would  we have varying talents and passions?  Why would we have such abilities to dream?

Before I go off on another trail or get way too deep, I should wrap this up and leave deeper thoughts on this for another day.  What do you think?  Let me know.

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We’re going to swim in that?

June 6, 2008 Leave a comment

I have mentioned before that I can turn anything into a life lesson and here I go again…

I pulled to cover off of the pool last night.  Honestly, I have seen stagnate ponds that looked cleaner (Sorry, no pictures, I don’t want to gross you out).  The water is black and murky at best and even smells like a stagnate pond.  As I started to vacuum the bottom of the dismal abyss, I thought to myself “We going to swim in that?” 

After an hour of vacuuming, there was a slight change.  You could at least see a light surface emerging at the bottom.  After a massive amount of chemicals and a massive amount of filtering, I know that the water will be crystal clear and irresistible. 

It makes me think about our own lives.  It does not matter how dark or murky we are on the inside, God can pour spiritual chlorine through us and filter out all the impurities.  Just like a pool, it usually doesn’t happen overnight, despite my children’s desires.  It takes time and a balance of the right things to make yourself pure.  I could run my filter 24/7 but without chlorine, my water would still be green.  I could pour $500 worth of chemicals into my water but without stirring them up and running the filter, they would settle to the bottom, useless.  Given the opportunity, God will clean and filter your life until you begin to shine. 

Another interesting analogy is that a pool takes constant maintenance.  I do not like to swim in mostly clean water.  I want it fully clean.   I may have to adjust the pH here and the alkaline there throughout the summer and I always check the chlorine and run the filter.  I pull out the vacuum a few times per week to get the junk that starts to accumulate in the deep end because I want the water clean.  Our lives are just like that.  If we do not constantly maintain our spiritual person, we can become dark and murky and need major shock to get us clean again.  In September, my water was sparkling.  In June, it is repulsive.  With a little work, a lot of chemicals, it will be sparkling again very soon.  This weekend, I will be checking the levels of the pool chemicals.  I think I better take a reading on my spirit while I’m at it.