I had gotten an email (that usually circulates in September) about 9/11 and a poem about "Where Was God?" You can read the poem here - but in a nutshell the author pointed out all of the places that God WAS... calming the airplane passengers, discouraging people from heading in to work, holding up the Twin Towers an extra 1/2 hour to allow more people to escape, carrying 3000+ people to Heaven, trying to comfort those who had lost loved ones, etc...
Then my mind wandered to that little boy I wrote about a couple of months ago - Joey - who had died of cancer. He was only four years old. And my mind settled on my niece, Julia, who lived for only 6 days.
And then my mind started in on the idea of God knowing where we will be and what we will doing at any given point of our lives - and how this relates to the idea of "free will." I find it hard to reconcile the two ideas... that if God already knows what we will be doing, how can we have the free will to choose it?
All of that tied together with this question:
Is it possible that our life span has been pre-determined from the moment of our conception?
That the reason God knows where we will be is that our physical time on earth (years, months, days, minutes) is already set when we are born? Yet, within that time, we are free to make our own decisions - God just knows what all we need to accomplish in our lifetime?
As you can see, my mind was really busy this day!!
In Joey's case, was it already determined by God that Joey's life would be 4 short years - that that was the time needed for Joey to accomplish all of the things he needed to do in this life? And that even if cancer had not sent him to Heaven, some other end would have come around the same time?
In my case, was the reason that I did not die from a brain tumor (nope... haven't blogged about that yet... but never fear, it's coming!), was because it simply wasn't my time yet? That the time I rode in a car going 110 MPH on the back roads of Oxford, Ohio did not results in my death by a massive traffic accident because again, it wasn't my time? That the time when I rode my bike on a busy street (read: an almost-highway) when I was nine did not result in me being squished by a semi-truck because I still had more to do in this life?
That people can do all sorts of whacked-out, daredevil things and not be killed because dying at that particular moment would leave their life unfinished? That I could skydive, go bungee-jumping, or cliff-diving and I would be absolutely safe from dying... UNLESS it was my pre-determined time to go anyway?? That you physically cannot and will not end your life one second before "your time" - because God will intervene to push you on a different path.
When a child dies... or a young person, people always comment at their funeral that they "died too early." At other funerals, people shake their heads and say, "It was their time... what can you do?" What if the latter is true? What if it was exactly their time to go? And all of the treatments or alternate decisions would not have changed the outcome in the least?
And if this is true... does it matter?
Well... in terms of how you life your life? No. You still go on day after day, living life to the fullest, making the most of each day, living in as much of a Christ-like manner as you can. Because regardless, each of us does not know the exact day and time we will leave this Earth - and brooding about that fact will not do us any favors.
But, in terms of how you deal with the death of a loved one - perhaps it could make all the difference...?
Perhaps it could ease the mind of a person plagued with the "if only" laments...
IF ONLY I hadn't let them go on that trip alone...
IF ONLY I had warned them about that...
IF ONLY we had found another treatment option...
IF ONLY we'd gotten a third opinion...
If knowing that nothing they could have done would have changed the timeline of their loved one's life, maybe then, they could spare themselves from some of the blame and guilt.
Like I titled this post, I do not have any answers to these questions... just musings from an ordinary girl trying to eat from the Tree of Knowledge (and we all know where that got Eve!)... When I get to Heaven, I want to take all of the classes:
- The REAL Missing Link: Reconciling Creation and Evolution
- Cloud-Building 101,
- the Why Do Children Have to Suffer Anything elective,
- the Unicorns Never Made It Onto The Ark: Fact or Fiction class
- The Purpose of Mosquitos
Until then, I'm going to hope that my life is long, and full, and happy - and do my best to make it the best while I'm here. Thanks for reading this - and if you have any answers, PLEASE click on "post a comment" and leave me a note!