Have you seen the movie The Adjustment Bureau? It’s a great film about free will. In the story ‘God’ delegates to some of his angels the task of making sure the ‘plans’ for individuals happen, but some of them (the angels) end up crossing boundaries to do with free will. If you haven’t yet, it’s well worth a viewing.
The Struggle for Your Future.
Psalm 139: 16-24
There is an image from the film that has stuck with me and that I find helpful in thinking about one of God’s (many) views of my life. The angels have a book that opens out to a map-like image that is evolving in real time, there is a point in the middle that denotes the present moment and everything to the right is in the future, everything to the left is in the past. On the right is a preferred route that is marked out, that’s ‘the plan’ but lots of things can happen that cause the route to go ‘off plan’.
God has a design for your life and mine that is full of goodness, joy and life (don’t mistake this to mean a life of ease and devoid of stress!). He sees the end from the beginning (like looking at the map-like thingo). But not in a fixed, fatalistic, ‘come what may’ sort of a way, I don’t think, more in the way depicted by the map in the book in the movie. We make choices and everyone around us makes choices and we all impact on each other, influencing our lives both present and future. Many of those choices lead us ‘off plan’. But God is watching and finding ways in which his original design can be expressed in some way in our present and future, so as to call us back to His plan. He never overrides our will, this is one of the most profound ways in which he honours us.
It would be a mistake to think that we are still powerless to the choices of others and ourselves. At any point we can tune into God’s heart for us and that can become the ‘tuning fork’ with which all other notes and instruments in our lives must resonate – or be left aside. (apologies for the mix of metaphors there!). I have seen that God doesn’t like the things in our lives, both internal and external, that rob us of the goodness, joy and life that he intended for us; His plan for us. There is a very real struggle underway for God’s design to be expressed in our lives and we are invited to work with him and stand against all that offends him (because it is in opposition to his design for goodness, joy and life).
If you’re wondering about the tuning fork analogy I used here’s a short video that might shed some light on the picture!