I happened to turn on the old TV to a movie entitled, "Bruce Almighty." Here's a young man in his 30s who seems to be the typical loser individual: less qualified folks get promoted over him; he can't keep a girlfriend; his dog doesn't know the difference between a fire hydrant and his favorite chair; nothing ever seems to work out and God obviously doesn't like him; he doesn't like God, and if he were God, the world would be so much better off.
Before continuing, let's be very honest with ourselves. Have you ever thought about the world in God terminology? "If I were God, there'd be no more wars, no sick people, everyone would be lovable, no poverty, no skunks or possums, we'd all live in great homes with beachfront property and a mountain view out back; I'd be brilliant, a great athlete, have good knees and the U.S. would have a balanced budget."
I realize that's a fairly long and rambling thought, but this is not an English class, and there's not enough pages to list everyone's wishes. Get out a piece of paper and list your aspirations. Be creative.
Anyway, God seems to not only hear this Bruce fellow but turns over His powers to allow Bruce to take charge. Please shelve your disbelief for a few moments and see what lessons might be learned in this movie fantasy.
With Bruce at the helm, every prayer is answered — no matter how good or bad — every lottery ticket is a winner and this guy can do anything he wants ... almost. There are two glaring problems: Bruce does not have the wisdom to take care of the universe — let alone a few billion human beings — and not even God will take away free will. Maybe the latter is not just a complex movie gimmick but such a reality that even we don't understand what's going on.
I believe that most of us — at one time or another — have asked, "Why didn't God stop me? Why did God allow that to happen? Why does God give us so many choices?"
I cannot presume to guess all of your questions, but I would challenge you to let yourself go — even if only for a short time — and ask those posers out loud or print them on a piece of paper.
One of the most touching moments in that film was when Bruce had accepted his humanness, stands before God and asks that this gift be taken from him as he just cannot understand or deal with the responsibility.
God merely agrees and asks Bruce to pray for what he wants. The prayer was simple and most would have no argument with the request. God says, "That's a fine prayer if you are a contestant for Miss America. What do you really want?"
This young man then opens his heart and gives one of the most unselfish and touching prayers you could imagine, and God says, "Now that's a prayer!"
I am not embarrassed to say that I am moved by certain music, wonderful sunsets, Julie's beautiful face, the laughter of my family, even walking Downgirlsit when there's a full moon, and occasionally a movie. Please, there is not enough room to list everything that touches my heart.
I will, however, say there are too many times that the world just doesn't make sense to me. There are too many half-truths, too many wars, too many whose lives are crushed by disaster and just too many unanswered questions.
It is way too easy for me to look at all these difficulties and reply, "If I were (a small deity), I'd do it this way or that way and all would be well."
Perhaps the answer is that God is working His purpose out, in His good time, in His way and that way is not for us to understand but to accept.
At the same time, I do not believe I am just one ant in a colony of ants. I believe with all my heart that I am a part of His great plan and am responsible and accountable for my actions because every action is meaningful and far reaching.
God, here I am. Forgive my impatience and give me strength to endure.