by Ernest ONeill
It’s obvious that someone or something has gone to a lot of trouble toenable you to get up this morning, walk out into the fresh air, and go to workor school. Something or someone built that house or apartment you live in – andsomething or someone obviously designed it with great care and foresight.
But it’s just as obvious that the sky above you is more beautiful andexpansive than the ceiling of your bedroom and the sunlight brighter and warmerthan the lights in your home. None of us believes for a moment that your homeresulted from an explosion and you’ll laugh at anyone who suggests it cameabout by chance. So, of course, none of us seriously believes that all thegreater beauties and wonders of nature came about unless there is someone orsomething who wants us to be happy in the enjoyment of this wonderful universe.
Whose Child Are You?
Why has this great something or someone done all this ? Why has he madeyou, and why has he given you so many experiences and things to enjoy? The bestinformation we have is the actions and words of the man who is known as the sonof the creator of the universe – Jesus who lived around 29 a.d. in Palestine.
He explained that His Father and He live above this time-space world,and that His Father made you inside His only Son so that He could enjoy theinfinite beauties of his son’s life in you and millions of others. But thiscould only occur if you were a free person like his son – free to love him backfor all his generosity to you – and free to reject him and his love – if youwanted.
But Our Creator knows that there is no life outside Him so He committedhimself to keeping you inside his son (really therefore inside himself) for aslong as it takes to bring you into the truth of his love for you. The death ofhis son, Jesus, in Palestine expresses the actuality of God’s putting himselfat our mercy as we continue to strangle Christ’s spirit within us by ourautonomous, egotistic lives.
So you are really the child of your creator – someone who is dear tohim because you are part of his only Son. If you don’t believe this or liveyour life as if you’re a separate, independent person, then you’re a childwaiting to be born. Meanwhile, your dear father waits and suffers your behaviorand indifference. Yet all the time he sustains you with his life that keepsyour heart beating and your blood flowing. He spends each day planning forlittle experiences and people that you will enjoy, and his son’s spirit in yousubtly ameliorates the pains and tragedies that you would otherwise cause.
In fact, you live a life that your Father has already foreseen becausehe knows how you will act and react in every situation, yet he so restrains hisown counteracting activity that your free will is preserved inviolate until youwillingly submit it to the One who loves you most.
How Then Are You to Live?
What are you to do in the light of these realities? Obviously there isonly one that you can take to this kind of love and care – gratitude andwhole-hearted enjoyment of all the abilities and opportunities and experiencesthat God has given you. Above everything else, if you are really part of Godhimself and He is such a selfless, generous person, then you will only be fullyhappy if you live the same as He does. This means a generous, self-forgetfullife of joy and peace and love. Anything else is unreal and doomed to eventualdissolution.
How do you live this kind of life? Only one knows that – no other humanbeing can tell you the life that God’s Son has planned to live in you – no oneelse knows. Each of us can know only the life that Jesus wishes to live in us -we can’t outline it to each other. This is part of the wonder of this life onearth – each of us is a unique part of God’s Son, Jesus Christ – and each of ushas to look to Him to live our lives. Within you is his Spirit. You can confirmthat you’re responding to his spirit and not your own by checking it with thelife that He lived in Palestine, but faith is living in His presence andfriendship not trying to copy his life in the first century.
The truth of the matter is that no one has yet seen the life thatChrist has planned to live through you – it’s another one of our dear Father’ssurprises that fill the universe with his spontaneous joy and pleasure. We canin future discussions talk about Christ’s spirit and share how different it isfrom our own spirit, but finally it’s you and Him. Finally, you’re the only onewho knows if you or He lives and speaks and acts here on earth.