For whatever the reason, I've been thinking about the nature of God a lot recently but more particularly about the things that we do in our lifetimes. Do we ever accomplish anything by ourselves in our lifetimes or has everything been designed for us to accomplish, by God?
I started on this train of thought as my wife and I have been watching the TV miniseries "John Adams". It is really good and it makes you be amazed at how brilliant many of those men were. However, many people believe the design of our nation to be divinely inspired which would make one question how much those men actually accomplished themselves. When Thomas Jefferson sat down to write the Declaration of Independence, did God put certain thoughts into his head to put on to the paper or were they merely his own thoughts? What about when they wrote the Constitution? Is it too much to say that those already brilliant men felt compelled to start this nation completely without any prompting from God?
I understand that all human beings have choice, but if God designs them in a way where they will choose a certain course of action when the choice presents itself, did they really take that course of action themselves? When I think about this subject, I'm often reminded of one of my favorite movies, The Truman Show. I'm particularly thinking of the end, when Truman is talking to his "Creator" and their conversation takes on a very religious and philosophical context. After learning that everything in his life was a fabrication, Truman, frustrated, asks, "Was nothing real?"
Maybe I'm too proud. I've always kind of been that way, too quick to take credit for certain actions or certain enlightening thoughts. Part of me sometimes just wants to yell out, "I did that! By myself!" completely cutting God out of the accomplishment because his inclusion makes it seem like I didn't do anything at all because I had His help.
Let me try to explain. Say that on Friday, I am going to be given the choice between going to Chili's or Olive Garden for dinner. If I choose Chili's, will I be going there because I actually chose it or because God created me in a way that he KNEW that I would pick Chili's? I guess in a way its a debate between "choice" and "fate" and I'm having a hard time seeing how the two can actually work together like many people believe them to do.
Perhaps it doesn't matter. I suppose even if God did create me so I would say "Yes" or "No" to a certain situation, it is still my choice. In the Truman Show, when Truman asks "Was nothing real?", his "Creator" answers, "YOU were real." And though vain it might be to say it, even if God could potentially take credit for anything we do, since he's not here to dispute it, we'll be fine taking the credit ourselves. :)