Thoughts on Free Will, Life Choices… and other things

I promised this post a few weeks ago… and somehow, didn’t get around to posting it till now. I hope you can all forgive me for that… Anyway. I’ll just jump right into this, I guess —

I have been faced with that question that always goes something along the lines of, How can we have free will if God already knows what’s going to happen?

I’ve already addressed this question before. First of all, it can’t be explained, or at least, not to a faithless person’s satisfaction. It is a matter of faith, it is a mystery. But the ‘explanation’ that I have referred to in past can be found in C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. As simply as I can paraphrase it — We are bound by Time, whereas God is not. All Time is His Now. For God, the Creation is taking place right now, the Crucifiction is happening right now, Today as I know it is happening right now, a million years from now is happening right now. What we call history, being bound by time, is like a book to God. He can open up the book at any time in any spot. He knows all that has been, is, and all that will be; that is by our definition, because our minds our bound by what we know as Time. Still, bottom line is, He knows it all. And He is the Supreme Author, but… we have choices. He gives us choices.

And that is where things may get muddy and Faith comes in — believing that even though God already knows what I am going to do, it is still my choice; He allows me to choose.

So, going from there. We have choices. Every choice is from Him. Our choices may not seem as simply as eating or not eating the apple, but the first choice was from Him, and and each choice leads to another. It’s not blessings and curses — it’s God’s gifts, and whether we accept or reject them. Our obedience is our acceptance, our disobedience is our rejection. Truth sets us free. I gave this talk at Camp, and I borrowed a lot from Matthew Kelly — God will let us do whatever we want, whenever we want, with whomever we want, for whatever reason we want. Why then does he give us rules? the 10 Commandments? Not because He wants to stifle us or hold us back or tie us down. It’s because He knows what will make us happy. He created us. And when He created us, He created a longing for happiness. It’s our call to be happy!!! But then doesn’t it make sense that when He created us, and He put inside of us that longing for happiness, He is also the only one who knows completely and totally what will make us happy? God didn’t create us without purpose; He knows exactly what will satisfy our beings. He knows exactly what will make us happy, because He was the one who put the desire there in the first place! Thus He gives us a sense of what is Right and what is Wrong because He knows that when we sin, we can’t be happy! He wants us to be 100% happy, and we can’t be happy with sin on our souls! He knows this. It’s like Bo Sanchez says — God doesn’t punish us! We punish ourselves! God knows that it won’t rest easy on our consciences, and He doesn’t want that because He loves us. He wants to help us prevent ourselves from scarring our souls.

And so now, we come back to our choices. Often, our choices seem so complicated, but we love to complicate things, don’t we? We like going into the whole, well we don’t know all the circumstances, how can we judge so and so because of this and that… I’ve heard the argument so many times when I’m arguing Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice with various people. But there’s Life and Life and then there’s Life and Death. I had this talk with Mom. I’m not saying that I just say NO, Pro-Life, period, and not think about all those difficult examples like the one Matt gives in his post. No, it’s not easy, but it’s not being judgmental, either. Really, honestly, with the arguments I’ve been presented with, it isn’t easy for me to say, you know what? It all comes down to Life and Death — abortion is murder, it’s wrong, period. I’m not saying I’m not concerned for the teenage mother or what. But I can’t get around the fact that it all comes down to Life, either. The really difficult situations that areworth thinking about are cases like that of St. Gianna’s. If she gave her life for the sake of her child, would that be unfair, to be robbing the younger children of a mother? Just a thought.

Salvation is like a gift unwrapped. It has already been given. The choice then falls to us to accept or reject it. Granted we cannot earn heaven, but what excuse is that? If we really want something, our better nature states that we will want to be worthy of it; even if we know we can never be worthy, we will still want to try. Ate Christine asked us why it’s important to go to Confession. We’ve already been forgiven, yes — but then we have to accept the forgiveness. And God gives us a way to humble ourselves and show Him that we desire and accept His gift of forgiveness — the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ate Christine asked us to think about how much sin piles up in a day. She asked us to then think about how liberating the Sacraments are.

Let me see, how shall I wrap up this post… How about… I do believe I shall have to write a paper and cite everything correctly. mhmm.

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One comment

  1. Two things you need to cover if you’re going to write that paper:

    Because God is God :), he can create good out of any situation. What may seem difficult or problematic or impossible for us is another opportunity for God to show us His greatness and His grace. God can bring good even out of evil — I don’t know how He does it but then I’m not God :).

    As for abortion/pro-life:

    Those other situations — women victims of rape, and who get pregnant, etc., are a VERY SMALL PORTION of the numbers that choose abortion over life. Dr. Janet Smith writes about this — so you can not base law or decisions on a small segment of the population. You can not justify abortion based on the number of rape-related pregnancies that occur, just like you can’t say wheat is now banned from all supermarkets because a certain segment of the population is deathly allergic to wheat.

    As for people who “cannot afford babies”, that’s not an abortion problem per se. That is an economic policy problem. (Overpopulation is a MYTH. The entire world’s population can fit in Texas for goodness’ sake. We have ENOUGH resources to feed EVERYONE.) People are dying of hunger because we as a nation, we, the rest of the world, have not done what it takes to feed the hungry. FYI, food help programs are usually tied to birth-control programs, e.g., the people who have the food to distribute are saying, we’ll only give you the food if you contracept (people don’t understand that contraceptions are actually also abortifacients). We’ll give you food if you stop having babies. That’s NOT the answer. That is as messed up as messed up gets.

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