Don Miller recently posted a blog about whether God has a plan or not for you. This is one of those “blogs in response to another blog” things, so I apologize for that. The article is short, so go read it. The gist of it is that God does not map our lives, and generally people who ascribe to such wait around for God to make a move in our lives. Miller claims that God is not controlling.
On a lot of theological issues I fall in the minority, especially in the Christian realm; and I’m really comfortable in that space. I do believe in a mapped out life, but I don’t believe in a robotic life without learning opportunities. Most people think of a life without free will as mindless, controlled creations; but is the only way we can think of this life?
I think that events and actions are planned out, our choice is whether or not we want to learn from that situation or circumstance. To me, the purpose of life is self discovery and positive influence.
Our personalities are set by the age of 6. This statement confuses people, but it’s usually because of how they define and understand personality. I used to be very shy, this was a characteristic (not a personality trait) of me…it changed, I grew away from that. However, I’m a very empathetic person, this has never changed in me; I have never gotten more or less empathetic than I am right now. Something happened to me in my first six years of life to make me that way. Also, most people don’t remember things from their first five years of life. So essentially, we can’t remember why we are the way we are.
I think that life occurrences gives us the opportunity to learn about ourselves. For example: in a post dinner conversation, I’m likely to tear my coffee cuff…if I’m feeling out of control I will tear them into neat squares and stack them in order (perhaps showing that I need to have a sense of control over something); but if I am feeling comfortable I may just tear it randomly and pile it. Did I choose how I was going to stack it, in my opinion, no. Can I choose to learn something about myself in that moment, yes.
While I love Donald Miller’s writings and books, this post profoundly annoyed me. People who believe in a divine plan usually are somewhat lazy Christians wanting to justify and explain everything, ascribing lack in forward motion in their lives to God. This is not me, I choose to believe in a God who knows us more than we know ourselves and allows us to opportunities to discover things we never knew about ourselves; things we could never understand if we had true control over our own actions.