I remember a Tank McNamara cartoon from about 30 years ago where an athlete was being interviewed. “I didn’t want to drop that pass,” the athlete told the newsmen, “but it was the Lord’s will.” One of the guys’ teammates in the background says, “The Lord is my alibi, I shall not want.”
I was reminded of that listening to George Zimmerman on the news the other day. (And no, I’m not interested in a Martin-Zimmerman discussion; I’m fully convinced that we don’t have enough facts to discuss it intelligently) George said something to the effect of: “I’m sorry about what happened, but it was God’s plan. Who am I to question God’s plan?” The Lord is my alibi…
Along the same line, a friend of mine was counseling a young woman who had discovered that her husband was having an affair. The woman said, “But I know all of this is God’s plan.” My friend reminded her that God would continue to work in her life to bring good out of a bad situation, but by no means was it God’s plan that her husband commit adultery. The Lord is NOT anyone’s alibi.
Humans sin. Humans do things that God doesn’t want them to. God brings forward his overarching plans, but he gives humans the choice to join in with that or not. Back in 2008, I wrote the following:
I believe that God is all powerful and could control absolutely everything that goes on in this world. I also believe just as firmly that He has chosen not to do so. Not everything that happens it what God wanted to happen. He has granted unto men a certain about of free will, and that free will affects history. Look at Jeremiah 26; God says that His actions will be affected by what the people choose to do: “This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’S house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.” (Jeremiah 26:2-3) Also, consider that God’s desire is that everyone be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:5). Guess what folks: it hasn’t happened yet, in 2000 years. Why? Because God still allows men to make their own choices.
I’ve seen nothing to make me change my mind. (Or as my friend Ken Cukrowski once told me, “And I agree with me.”)
We have to take responsibility for our choices. We have to accept the responsibility for our lives. God wants to lead us in a certain direction; we can resist that leading and shipwreck our lives or we can accept his leading and enjoy the peace of being in his paths. There will still be suffering and hardships, for this world is a fallen one, but we can say, as the Psalmist says, “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.” (Psalms 73:24)
God has a plan. It just may not involve what’s going to happen this afternoon. Some things, he leaves up to me.
image from Clipart Mojo