Posts Tagged ‘omniscient’

The Underlying Theme

September 17, 2008

The actual core of a thing is usually simple. For instance, the foundation of a home is pretty straightforward as compared to the things that are built on it, around it, over it. On the surface, the eye sees a complicated arrangement of roof and walls, doors and windows. Just below the surface, under the vinyl siding, run unseen rivers of electricity, water, and air. Deeper still, buried within the structure’s core, lies its foundation – the intrinsic mechanism that makes all the rest possible.

Is life any different? On the surface, life – including all the systems that make life possible – is very complicated. Thousands of scientists around the world spend their days working hard to uncover the mysteries of life’s roof, walls, doors, and windows. Priests and philosophers attend to the flow of life’s electricity, water, and air. And yet there are a few who seek to know life’s very foundation, its underlying theme.

How does the mechanism of life work?

Does God sit on his throne, picking which prayers to answer, weighing the devotion of each child before deciding who gets blessed that day? Is God really that interested in my day-to-day life that he knows the exact number of hairs on my head as the Bible claims? Religion has cast God as some kind of spiritual micromanager, complete with all the “omnis”: omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnibenevolent (seeking the good of all), and omnipresent (present everywhere, in the past as well as the future).

Omnis, by definition, are transcendent, meaning they are as limitless as life itself. God gave us the capacity to choose from a limitless set of possibilities. Why would God micromanage such a creation? That would be predictable, downright boring. Everyone loves a mystery. God already knows the outcome of the things he has chosen to control. He gave us free will so we would have the capacity to do something unexpected. God wants to be surprised by life! That is why he made us and our world so variable, so chaotic. For it is only within a state of chaos that all things are possible. (Of course, some order is required too – yin and yang.)

In this context I believe the very purpose of life can be understood a little better. God created the universe and put billions of people in it, all different, yet all created in God’s image. Because God creates, we create. In a sense we are all just like life itself. Each of us builds a unique life on a common foundation. Simple.

Deep down we are all made of the same stuff. The differences between us are something to be celebrated, encouraged, nurtured, for they are the very reason we were created in the first place.