28 Mar 2005

On the one hand, there is the helplessness of man to override the gears of destiny. On the other had, there is the primacy of choice. Perhaps it is the nature of we the upright animals to be of such paradox, made out of nothing in the image of the infinite. For it is written that our lives are predestined to the last bit of detail, yet in the same breath, we are made poignantly aware that the smallest thing that we decide echoes in eternity. One can, given this information, utterly despair that anything we decide makes the littlest difference in what happens to us, in how we affect the world; too, one can be paralyzed by the sheer weight that each choice ultimately will portend. But in each, we ignore the consequence of the other viewpoint of how things work; and it may be that in the paradox one can consequently breathe free.

Look at our Lord, Jesus Christ: for Him, the paradox was the utmost in its expression. He could see all things that He was going to do, and thus, the destiny He was committed to was completely laid out, plain before his eyes. If, then, He had no freedom in choosing what was to happen, what would He be but an automaton, less than human, a robot going through the motions that had already been planned for Him — what would He have been but simply the Algorithm of God? Yet, this is not how we know Him. He was, instead, the highest that consciousness can aspire to, and so, must have had the greatest of all freedom. Thus, we must believe that since in any situation, He would only choose the best way to go, that in any situation, there were an infinite number of best courses available. Not equal, not even equivalent, but with what He could make of any decision, in any of these ways, the best that possible could be.

Does the fact that He knew exactly what He would do lessen His choice? On the contrary, it means instead that His powers of planning were absolute. There is more meaning, then, to His decision, not less — because it all went precisely as He intended. What this lays out for us is that we are no less free to do anything though each iota of our expression is known. We should not despair that our decisions mean anything less than freedom gives us in consequence. And we should not collapse at the weight of such responsibility of choice, for the workings of destiny are larger than any of our choices precipitate. We are caught in the middle of never and forever: but it is a good place. We are responsible for our actions, but in the last estimation, believe that Someone who knows better understands how fraught with uncertainty any of our choices are, how much courage it takes for us to make them.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:07 am

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