So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Monday, December 06, 2004

Bumfuzzled by the Almighty...

Bumfuzzled...I better explain what I mean by that as I'm sure some will not understand. I simply mean 'utterly confused and astounded'. God utterly confuses and astounds me. No, really. I know that there are lots of childrens' songs out there that talk about that, but really...God is amazing. I'd like to take the next moment to ponder aloud an event that happened in my life tonight as I was talking with a dear friend about the tension between divine sovereignty and predestination/free will...

Well, I went to a College and Career event at my new home church tonight and I slipped in for the last 15 minutes as I got off work late. As I slid in the back door, I snuck into the last pew and tried to remain nonchalant. I looked over and saw a good friend from another town, but thinking it couldn't be him, I dismissed the idea and looked away. After the lights came up, I saw it was him and I immediately sat down to talk to him. It turns out that he's under the rod of the Lord right now (God is disciplining him hard and life is amazingly difficult right now) and we both moved to my new home city this past week. He wandered into the church kinda checking things out and it's amazing that we ran into one another. I've known him for a while and we kinda lost contact over the last few months, but he was hoping to find some friends in the city. Needless to say, we've connected and I had quite a time tonight choking back tears when he told me what the last few months has brought to him.

Now, the part of this all that bumfuzzles me is the tension between divine sovereignty and predestination/free will, and the relation of that all to my experience tonight. Basically, God set things in order that I'd run into my friend tonight, at that exact location, in the exact circumstances, in order to answer a prayer that I've been praying and also to teach me a lesson about something, and yet, and without paradox (somehow), God led my friend there to encounter me for entirely different reasons, and yet, we both chose to go to that church at that time because we desired to do so. It's so totally astounding how we think we make uncoerced choices and yet God does exactly what he wants, meticulously bringing his plan to pass.

I mean, the circumstances of our meeting tonight were set in motion from years ago, as I've been one of the people he talked to the last time he had similar trouble, and that was 3 years ago. Not just that, but both our lives converged at this exact moment tonight, with all hundreds of circumstances that led up to our connection. Taking away just one of hundreds of components would have led us to not connect tonight. God's meticulous hand was on the circumstances and he brought us together at a specific time, for a specific purpose, within a context of events that started years ago, leading to tonight.

And yet, in the same way, we both chose to move to our new city. We both chose to go to the C&C event tonight. He chose to sit where I could see him and I chose to show up when I did, going through a different door than I normally do and sitting in the location where I did tonight. We made totally uncoerced choices based on our flippant whims. The events that led to our meeting were hundreds of uncoerced choices.

How in the heck does that all work together? How can God control events so that they are orchestrated meticulously towards a point in time years in the future, and yet still have those events being the fruits of uncoerced free choices by autonomous moral agents? I mean, of all the scholars and philosophers that ask those quesitons, they always compromise one of those points. God's either not meticulously sovereign or man's not really free. None the less, the Armchair Theologian is very convinced that the Bible strongly teaches both, so I'm left at not being able to systematize that...and consequently, I'm simply bumfuzzled by God. Good thing he's got it all worked out, cause I can't even get a handle on the data, let alone process and work it all into a working hypothesis! Until next time,

The Armchair Theologian


Blogger Yosemite Sam said...

Hard to grapple hey, God's sovereignty and mans free will! So, I'm glad he could come over and watch some Ong Bak. I hope things go well with him and that there may be many more good times to come.

1:19 PM


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