The philosophical argument about self-will versus determinism has been raging for much longer than our lifetimes. Modern ideas put new twists into this but the idea is the same. It is an argument that I am pretty sure will not be solved in my lifetime. So what to do, and what to say, when bad things happen? What was/is God’s role in such matters?
I have faced this in my own life and in trying to help others. Rape, murder, car accidents and the like are some of examples of bad things that happen. Is this all parts of “God’s plan?”
I want to believe this is not the direct doings of God. In my spiritual world these are things that happen, regardless of what God wants or is able to do for me, or for anyone else.
Self-determinism is what I believe in. I believe God wants the best for me but I am free to choose. I am a drunk. Good for me or not, if I am not vigilant and taking care of myself than I am capable of drinking. And drinking for me leads to very bad things for me and for others. On the other hand my life is pretty darn good when I am sober. This is more what I think God wants for me. So when bad things happen I don’t blame blame God. It is not necessarily his fault or his doing.
For all I know God is doing these things, perhaps for reasons I do not need to be privy to. Yet I am not God so I am not the person to understand everything. I can live with that too. I don’t need to think I know or understand everything anymore. Drinking and getting sober beat that egotistical malarkey out of me.
Having been sober for a few decades I can deduce and live with philosophical and spiritual perspectives that support my life. I can now see things in a way that allows me to be happy (God is good) instead of bitter (why did God allow xxxx to happen?). In working with others I can share my perspectives and suggest them as useful ways to see and deal with things. I don’t pretend I am right, just that this does work. Yet sometimes there needs to be something more added to all this.
The other day one of my sponsees told me something that I thought was wonderful. It come to him via another AA member who had suffered a loss and was told this by someone else. Rather than wondering why or what God’s role in the thing that you lost was, imagine that God felt the same pain that you did or still do in relation to your loss.
An empathetic God explained in way that is personal and touching.
Happy New Year. 2010. It will be the best year ever.