Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.
I’ve read somewhere that the people we cross paths with were put there by a divine hand, not at random, but very carefully, because they have a role to play in our lives. Some of these people will play significant roles, while others will have a very brief appearance because they play larger roles in others’ lives.
Lately I have been thinking, if the people that come to our lives and the events that happen were plotted by a divine hand, then our life is like a novel where the divine hand is the author, and we and the people that come to our lives are the characters.
For a while, this idea seemed acceptable to me, until another came to my mind: if our life was plotted from the very start, then we are simply acting out a role that has been given to us, and we are merely voicing out words that have been put to our mouth.
At this thought I became restless. I’ve always believed that our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words are ours. Because if they aren’t, then why would we be answerable for them to the very author who has willed us to think, feel, say, and do them? If we are only acting out a role and saying words that aren’t our own, then why would we be responsible for their consequences? With these thoughts, I realized that there is a glitch somewhere.
At first I suspected that the idea that someone has authored our life might be wrong. But I also found it unacceptable for it to be otherwise. After all, if our life depended entirely upon us — on our actions and that of others — then why are there things that are beyond our control? Why are there instances when, even with meticulous planning and execution, things just don’t happen the way we planned them? Why do we get to meet people we had not thought of, and had not even planned to meet? And why were we made to trudge this wilderness, with the family we had not picked to be born to, under certain conditions that had not been our own choosing?
With these thoughts swirling in my head, I came to the very same realization I had come to in my previous attempts to grasp man’s existence: that life is too mysterious for the human mind to fathom; that to attempt to do so would be like trying to put all the waters of an ocean into a hole the size of the human head.
But even with this realization, I still would not want to give up the attempt, not because I think I have what it takes to comprehend heavenly designs, but because I believe that having a picture of what we believe to be the design would be better by far than having nothing at all. After all, we are only as worthy as the value we put to ourselves. Our life is only as good as the meaning we ascribe to our existence.
At the moment, I still think that life can be likened to a novel, with the divine hand as the author, and us as the characters, except that this time, the author is understood to be unlike any mortal writer. Though like ordinary authors, He has chosen all the characters and the setting and has prepared the outline of our story, He has left some details to us — the characters. He has endowed us with the gifts of reason and insight to know right from wrong; giving us different ways on how we can proceed, and presenting us with options. And now thus equipped, He has allowed us to have a say in our story, of which we are both a character and a co-author.
The plot that is my life? Let me see. I’ve walked over valleys and plains, I’ve stumbled and tripped over humps many times, and I’ve been swept off by strong winds on some occasions; but I’ve also basked in the sun, sniffed sweet-scented flowers, and walked hand-in-hand with peace and happiness. So I believe I have a good life; my life is a fairly good book.
//Sherma E. Benosa; 29 August 2007; 2:29am
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