I’ve always had an issue with the idea of free will. From the perspective that God who is all knowing creates us in a way the she is fully aware of the all choices we will make in life. They might be our choices (no one else’s), but from that view our path is fixed, our choices are already known – so they are in a sense set at the point of our creation. Free will doesn’t fit that really at all. So if free will is a lie and there are so many painful experiences in life, it has made me question many times whether God can be loving at all.
Then one day I felt differently about it. I was walking my dog, Misiu going to a very kind lady who has looked after him when my life circumstances weren’t right to do that myself. She’s struggled with her health for a long time. She’s got a cancer, is overweight and finds it difficult to get around but through all that – she’s always been so very kind. I feel she has a very loving heart. There’s definately love in this world so I just couldn’t put those two ideas together – an all knowing unloving God who also creates the capacity for us to love?? It doesn’t make sense.
Then I understood that free will is actually the most loving thing that God has given us. It felt suddenly like an incredible gift that our God who creates us wants us to have something completely our own. She wants us to create as she creates, she wants us to have a uniquely personal knowledge of what we create through our lives via our free will – our decisions that we make at core of who we are.
I understood it like this: God is all knowing because he knows the outcomes of every potential choice that we all make in our lives – he knows every possible effect for every possible cause. So all those infinite choices that we DONT make – he also knows the consequences that each of them.
So, if we go left, then right, then left in the maze our lives, he knows what will happen. If we go right, left then left again he also knows what will happen. He also knows what our likely choices will be based on the patterns of our choices before. So that type of knowledge is really unfathomable, extensive and all-reaching. BUT there’s the knowledge of our personal free will which is entirely our own. What I’m saying is that no one besides us alone can know what we will do at the point of our decision, not God not anyone – but us. Whether we choose to act in a loving way or an unloving way – this choice is entirely our own. What will happen as a consequence is already known and happens really in an instant.
So when I feel about it in that way it’s an amazing gift – it’s really the paramount gift of a loving God: God has given an essential piece, the most important piece of his own knowing to us, and what we do with it is entirely up to us. So for me, God is completely all knowing because every single outcome of every possible act of our free will is known and our free will is completely free from our creation – because at the core, we are the only ones who know what our will will be.
So God’s love gives us the gift of freedom, self knowing, and self responsibility of both those things too. So now rather than feeling angry about that, I feel grateful.