This week I have been preoccupied by trying to help a youth at my church get into my alma mater, Furman University. It has been an uphill, but rewarding, experience. As I said to the individual, anything that I can do on their behalf is an honor and a privilege.
The entire experience, however, has left me wondering about how God’s will intersects with human decision—which inevitably (for me, anyhow) leads to the thorny issue of predetermination versus free will. All at once I am comforted by a Creator who has our lives already figured out and conflicted by a God who would endow us with a mind He didn’t intend for us to use. While I am not ready to say the two ideas are disjunct, I am very curious to see how God will work this one out. On the one hand, I have every confidence that the Father will work His will to His glory—including the life of the youth at my church. So, in that regard, it could well be reasoned that God already knows where God will send this person. But on the other hand, I firmly believe that God gave us our intellect so that we can use it—i.e., freely (but prayerfully) make the decisions we feel are what God desires.
In the end (eternity), perhaps the two are one in the same. Perhaps He gave us our minds so that we can make the decision to love and serve Him…and perhaps He knew that we would make that decision before He gave us life. Baffles me.
I’ll let you know where my young friend ends up going to school.