Saturday, August 29, 2009

If Only

A most peculiar tale, "The Scenic Route" (by binnie kirshenbaum) weaving back and forth in time, through the lives of the main character (the narrator) and her family. While the story weaves through several generations it take place primarily during a few months of travel through Europe.

Here is an excerpt of what I read this morning while traveling nowhere on the stationary exercise bike:

"As we lay on that feather bed, my head resting on Henry's shoulder, I asked him, "If you could do your life over, do you think you'd do everything the same?"

"I'd like to say no," he told me, "I'd like to say I'd do plenty of things different, but I can't say that because I need to believe otherwise."

"You need to believe otherwise?"

"Exactly, I need to believe in predetermination. If I acknowledge free will, I'd have only myself to blame. And who could live with that?" he asked.

I am not one to settle easily with the idea of prederminism. I bristle at the idea that "God has a plan" or, "All things happen for a reason." I am fully in the "free-will" spectrum and understand that I make choices, for better or for worse. Granted I always try to make choices that follow what I hope God desires for me, choices that are God focused even as they are also me focused and "other" focused.

Some days the choices and desire to follow them faithfully leaves me breathless, and I think, how simple it would all be to believe that its all predetermined.

1 comment:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is thought provoking. I think I'd have to say that I believe in free will, and yet I believe that God make make something good even of our mistakes. If we let him, that is. It requires a lot of prayer and listening, and yet we still must be the choosers.

I've always struggled against the idea of predestination.

Homily for the Festive Eucharist at the closing of the Episcopal Women's Caucus

The readings that we chose for the service tonight were all picked specifically for this service because they lift up the role of women ...