Friday, November 6, 2009

Cause Or Allow?

I love my kids. They see such wonder and excitement in everything; it's truly thrilling being around them, hearing their conversations and outlook on life. God is such a part of their lives right now, and Katie and Reid have some interesting, thought provoking conversations. (actually they sound like an old married bickering couple!) Oh, they debate back and forth. Katie calls things "God's World." It's really hard at times to figure out if she's referring to Heaven or here on Earth. For her, there really is No Line On The Horizon; no differentiation between Heaven and Earth..... and yet, there is. It's really hard for me to understand her thoughts and questions; they are so fluid. Sometimes they make sense. Sometimes they really don't!

Some examples: Katie asked if the manholes in the street were doors to "God's World". Interesting; I'd never have thought that God lived DOWN..... God lives UP; in the Heavens, right? Hmmmm.... something to think about. Reid and Katie argue about where God lives: In our heart? In Heaven? On Earth? Is he all around us? is he only in Church? Is He in the bathroom with us? Is He around always? Is He invisible? When we're bad does He go away? They go back and forth, arguing. (and yes, it truly is an argument! There is no subtlety!)

Then Conor, my 10 year old gets into the discussion. He's the authority on All Things. (at least in his mind) Classic older brother. He tries to set them straight. They listen to him. Usually.

In the car the other day Katie asked if God made candy. (it's after hallowe'en after all) Reid said no. Stores make candy. They aske me. Well......I say God did not make candy, but he made the ingredients and all the things necessary for us to make candy. But man made the candy that she was eating. To this Conor disagreed; Surely God made candy; God is in control of All. He made the people that made the candy. He made the trees, plants, and all the things that go into candy. He gave the person the idea to make the candy and the creativity to name it and the senses to taste it. God made candy.

Oh my! God is in complete control. I've a little Calvinist on my hands. I like it!

It's truly a matter of perspective I suppose. Conor is right; God makes everything. But then one gets a little older and sees things that aren't so warm and fuzzy. Does God make atomic bombs? Did he make guns? Did God create cancer? And mental illness? He gives us the tools to create and think and form; Is he still in control of what we do with what's been given to us?

What do you think? Does God cause things to happen or does He allow things to happen? I've been studying this in Bible study and yet, it's still a question of mine. I thought I knew the answer and then in Study yesterday got all confused again! I've asked my pastor. He gave me an interesting response to mull over. I'll post it perhaps another day. (with his permission, of course) But for now, I'd love to hear your input.