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Day 13: Living Daily in Reality: A Planned Life

by Ernest O'Neill

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If living daily in reality is living in the certainty that we have been made by somebody who actually knows us and loves us, how does that affect the way we think of our futures ? The first thought that comes to us is that this creator must know exactly why and for what purpose he made us and put us here. It doesn't take much intelligence to see the detailed planning and supervision that he must exercise to get you to successfully stand up, walk to the door and open it. Millions of actions in your body, muscles, blood, and brain have to be carefully co-ordinated to enable you to perform that simple act. And when you apply that thought to six billion people throughout the world that avoid colliding with each other and operate millions of personal and financial decisions every hour so that payables and receivables, sales and purchases, imports and exports operate efficiently time after time, it's easy to see that our creator knows exactly where everything is and will be every moment.

So your creator certainly knows what he's planned for you ! The idea that he just makes the whole thing and then rolls it like a dice is something that Einstein utterly rejected as inconsistent with the complicated activities of human and physical nature. Even the growing development of chaos theories by our scientists imply the same belief that nothing happens by chance. Indeed, one could say that if chance ruled, then chance would be the ultimate power in the universe and an intelligent supreme being would be impossible.

The alternative to chance is a loving, infinite person who wants us to choose freely to love him so badly that he uses his complete sovereignty with such restraint that we actually are able to choose to acquiesce in his plan for us. And this even if he himself has to bear the strain and pain of our destructive behaviour. This seems to be the situation that is described by Jesus when he expresses his Father's attitude to Jerusalem in the words "Jerusalem,, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens, but you would not". It also represents the paradox expressed by one of Jesus' disciples when he says "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God that works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure". In some profound way, Christ in us acts yet it is we who do the actual deed.

So reality is that our lives are planned for us and the power of our creator works in us to fulfil that plan, yet submission to the treatment of his son, Jesus, here on earth makes it clear that he is no dominating dictator or puppeteer. In some paradoxical way he acts and we act also.

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