Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: Snap Decision (ii)
By Arlene Showalter
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Promptly at the appointed moment, he arrives like he owns the place. His casual attire shocks then relaxes me. His handshake exudes gentle strength.
“Good morning, Sir. Thank you for coming.”
“My pleasure, son. Glad I could help.”
With a gentle chuckle he says, “I knew you requested this interview on a bet because you need the $100 you’ll get for it.”
Incredulous, I reply, “Who told you?”
His sincere smile dazzles me. “Nobody.”
Seeing my confusion, he says, “Relax. I’m not going to zap you. At least, not the way you expect. Let’s get started. Ask away.”
Tensely clearing my throat I start. “In light of the mess our world is in, would you consider creation a failure?”
“Never!” The warmth of his answer surprised me.
“Well…um, with all that power...um…” I flounder to a halt.
“With all that power, why didn’t God create perfection?”
Dumbly, I nod.
“Now, isn’t that the million dollar question! People have been asking that since time began. Whining about it would be more accurate. Cain whined that God approved Abel’s gift and rejected his, causing him to kill his own brother in a rage.
“After 400 years of slavery, God delivered Israel from the most powerful man on earth. Almost immediately the people started complaining. Can you believe it? They preferred slavery with leeks and garlic over freedom!
“But I digress. Back before creation the Triune God enjoyed perfect communion, owning and being everything.
“Having such an abundance of love to give, God created holy beings to fill Heaven with music, praise and joy.”
“Sounds like paradise to me.” I remark.
“Yes, it was.”
“Then why mess with perfection? You know the old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”
“Good question. God enjoyed the angel population, but as you know, one became dissatisfied and decided he wanted it all. He managed to sway a lot of angels to his ideas, leading to a rebellion. Of course, God couldn’t allow evil in the house, so the angel and his followers had to go.
“God still had so much to share; you know how much more enjoyable good times are when shared, so he decided on a creation apart from the celestial dwelling, beings that could choose whether or not they wanted his fellowship.”
“Wasn’t that a huge risk?”
He grinned. “The problem with humans is they interpret creation from a human standpoint, as though everything revolves around them.”
“It doesn’t?” I feigned shock.
“Sorry.” He laughs. “Humans continually try to figure out God’s angle, his motives. The problem with that is God is so much bigger than the smartest human, so it’s utterly impossible. That is why he places such value on faith. Faith accepts what cannot be understood by human reasoning.”
“Isn’t that a bit unfair?”
“Doesn’t it make puppets of humans?”
“Quite the contrary. God gives humans the freedom to live by faith and enjoy his fellowship or, they can choose their own way.
“How is that better than the way it is for the angels?”
“Because he wants humans to follow him out of love rather than fear. Enjoying the love of a person is so much greater than having that person’s fearful obedience. That love develops into a trust that mere obedience cannot achieve.”
“So with all the millions of people who have chosen to reject God, the few that do love him make this whole creation thing worthwhile?”
“Absolutely. The love of one human far surpasses the rejection of many.”
“With all due respect, Sir, when God required such an enormous sacrifice for so little return, did Jesus hesitate to agree?”
Smiling straight into my eyes he said, “I made up my mind in a snap.”
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