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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 2: I am not an accident

This chapter talks about how God creates all of us, prescribing everything about us - how we look, our abilities and talents, our personality. God decides when you are born and when you die.

When I read this I first had trouble with it. I can accept that God decides when you are born but there is so much you can do to affect when you die, eg diet, exercise, smoking, risky activies such as rock climbing. So, if you smoke too much you are likely to get lung cancer. But then I realised that people get treated for lung cancer and live, so I can accept that God decides when you die, but you decide how well you live.

The concept is taken further however with this quote of Psalm 139:16:

"You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe."

But if everything that is going to happen to you is already worked out, why bother trying to do anything and what part does free will play?

To get some help with this I turned to Google. A number of pages say that this is a paradox that people are unable to comprehend. This, to me, sounds like a cop out. The best page I found was one called Psalm 139:16 and Predestination ( which explains that the original verse was difficult to translate and so the idea of it being that God has every day of your life planned is a guess. Instead the point of the Psalm is that the author is acknowledging that God knows everything about him and he is asking for guidance to do the right thing. This makes far more sense to me.

When I was attending the Purpose Driven Life group at church (which I went to in the lead up to getting married but haven't quite made it back since), I remember the Reverand saying that God gave people free will so they can choose whether to love Him or not.

There needs to be an element of chance there for God, otherwise we are not making the choice, He is making the choice for us.

In any case, this is just a diversion from the whole point of the chapter - the notion that God has a purpose for me and has created me to fulfil that purpose, giving me everything I need to fulfil that purpose. So I should embrace who I am and use my talents so then I will be fulfilling my purpose or at least getting closer to it.

P.S. I've just realised the book is not called 40 Days of Purpose, its actually called "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so loving your journey and intrigued by the book you're using that I've added The Purpose Driven Life to my wish list. :)