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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 90 Does God Give Us a Free Will? by Ernest O’Neill

We are talking about the meaning of life on this program at this time each day. We have reached the part of our discussion where we are dealing with the way the Supreme Being behind the universe made us. We have concluded there just has to be some Supreme Being. There has to be some person to make us persons. There had to be some intellect that designs so many ordered and carefully designed and planned phenomena that we can observe in our universe.

We’ve been discussing how this being behind the universe made us and we’re taking as the basis of our discussion the revelations that He seems to have given to that old man, Moses, thousands of years ago. We are doing that because, of course, of our own intellectual acceptance of the historicity of the books and documents that lie behind that old book that we call the Bible.

If you want to track through some of this stuff, please do write for some of the cassettes of the earlier broadcasts because the things which we are talking about today are based on that intellectual foundation. You need to know that, otherwise what we are saying today seems just like double talk. We are discussing the way the Creator of the universe made us and why He made us the way we are today.

You remember we said that He made us with capacities like Himself because He wanted us to be His friends. Yet, He made us so that we had to choose to become like Him. His plan for us to be like Him was that we would begin to live our lives in close relationship to Himself. That is, that you would come into this world and instead of going to the vocational guidance counselor, or going to your dad, or your mum, or reading the best books you could on what or how you could make the most money in life, you would, in fact, naturally look up to the Being who made you.

You would conclude, “Now, I’m not here by chance. Somebody must have put me here and I don’t need to speak to Him out loud necessarily, but I can think my thoughts up to Him. I can think, “God, why did you put me here? What’s the purpose of putting me here?” He would begin to feed back down to you, through your thoughts, the things He wanted you to do in life. You would then begin to live your life by those directions and by that guidance.

In fact, what we’ve been sharing is that men like Einstein say things like “All ideas come from God” because creative people know they receive their thoughts almost, it seems, from outside themselves. Even we ordinary human beings waken up at times after a night’s sleep and we have the solution to some problem immediately on our lips. It’s as if we get it from outside. In fact, this is just evidence from the Creator that that is the way He wanted us to live our everyday lives.

He presented it in the beginning chapters of Genesis as the choice between two trees. In effect, He said, “I want you to eat of the tree of life.” That is, I want you to live by my life coming through you. I want you to live by getting to know me and allowing my joy and my delight and my happiness that you see when you look at a comedian and see him smiling or when you look at a little baby and see the love in his eyes. That’s the kind of life that I want you to receive from me, because I’m the originator of everything that is beautiful in its own way in this universe.

So, I want you to get to know me and allow my mind to become your mind and my thoughts to become your thoughts. That way, you’ll begin to find out how to develop this world without having oil spills, without

having Chernobyl disasters, without having railroad disasters. You’ll begin to learn how to develop the natural resources of this world from the person who put them there.

Believe me, I know where I put the coal. I know where I put the oil. I can guide you to it. I want you to work it out together with me.” This is partly what He means by eating of the tree of life. In fact, we didn’t do that, of course. You remember the record of what is known as “the Fall” in the Bible. Genesis, chapter 3, describes how we decided, “Forget it. We are not going to depend on you. We don’t need to. This world has all we need. We don’t need you. We don’t need your love. We just need what we can get from here on our own, by our own knowledge of good and evil.”

“The knowledge of good and evil is simply us deciding we will not listen to you. We will observe what you have told others to do through the years. We will note it down in our books, in our law books, in our business books, in our psychology books, our own little personal commonplace books and we’ll develop a whole series of good things to do and evil things to do. Right things to do and wrong things to do. Good things to do and bad things to do.”

“We’ll draw those up and we’ll pass them on from generation to generation so that all mankind can use this world to give himself what he needs.” Of course, by that time we had decided what we needed. We really were meant to get all we needed through our friendship with the maker of the universe. What we needed above everything else, of course, was love, actually. That is true. We were made for love.

That is the whole purpose of the Creator making us. He made us to love Him, and so that we could love Him and He could love us. He made us for a love relationship. The greatest thing we need is love. Now, I know you’ll back off and say, “Ah, I don’t need love and that’s a lot of psychological soft-shoe stuff.” No, we really do need love. We were made for the Creator’s love.

Love gives you a great deal of security, doesn’t it? I mean, when your dad loved you, you knew that you were secure. As far as your clothing was concerned, he would provide you with your clothing. You knew that you didn’t have to go out and look for a bed that night; he would supply you with your bed. You knew you would have the food that you needed for the day. When we were little, you remember how carefree life was. We lived dependent on the love of our parents.

Now that was the plan of our Creator for us. He wanted us to live off His love. If we knew that He loved us, (He owned the cattle on a thousand hills, He owned all the mountains, and He owned all the solar system) there would come into our heart a great deal of confidence about your own security. You just feel He is going to take care of you. It doesn’t matter what happens. You’re safe.

You’ll have all the food, shelter and clothing you need because it was His idea to put you here in the first place and He didn’t put you here without provision. So, you have a great sense of security. You begin to realize His heart when His Son said, “Don’t be anxious about anything. Look at the lilies of the field. They do not toil or reap or gather into barns and yet, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now, if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is and tomorrow is cast into the fire, won’t He much more clothe you?” And so, we begin to sense that if the Creator of the universe loves us like that, then there is no need to worry about clothing or food or shelter.

It’s the same with the sense of self worth. If the Creator of the universe loves us, if He, the one significant other in the whole place, loves us, what does it matter what the rest think of us? As long as He knows us, He knows our name. If it’s true what His Son said, “Look, even the hairs of your head are numbered,” if He has actually counted the hairs on my head and knows me that well, and knows my name, then what does it

matter what happens to me? It give you settled self worth and self esteem.

It’s the same with happiness. If you can walk through the universe with the Maker of the universe beside you, there’s nothing so wonderful as this, walking through the universe with the owner as your friend. That’s what we were meant to get from the Creator. Now, when we determined to live by our own knowledge of good and evil, we missed all that. We lacked that love and we had a great sense of emptiness and somehow we had to get that love from other places.

That’s what we tried to do by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s talk a little more tomorrow about how we tried to substitute for that love by getting it from a source other than the dear person who made us.