The GreyBeard Chronicles: Choices and the Men Who Make Them

I do not choose this road I take;
It chooses me by the choices I make.
~Yours Truly

This morning, I woke up thinking about my life. Where I am. What I'm doing. Where I should be.

I thought about the difficult correlation between the sovereignty of God and the free will of a man. I thought about how much we make our own destiny and how much that destiny is chosen for us.

Would I have been here, right here, no matter what? Could I have been– and done– differently? Was this preordained? Does it matter?

I hate not knowing. But I hate people so cock-sure of what they "know" even more. Why is it so hard to admit we don't know something?

I especially hate seeing that kind of intellectual pride in a Christian. A truly intelligent person will see the ignorance in that kind of thing and find it repulsive.

I do not know how God can be absolutely sovereign, yet sin can exist and God is not the author of sin. It defies my power of reason. I do not understand how God's sovereignty and man's free will abide together.

Is it so hard to admit that a finite being such as yourself and such as I can find it impossible to know the mind of the Infinite One? Is it so beyond the realm of reason to reason that if I am the created and He is the Creator, He has the intellectual advantage over me? Is it so hard to understand that understanding Him is beyond my understanding?

I find myself a half-century into this journey less sure of many things than I was a quarter century ago. You might say I am regressing. Perhaps you are right.

But what do you know?

I have three grown daughters now. Each of them is facing a crossroads. Each of them has a decision to make. They look to Dad and want to know what they should do. Sometimes, I think they would like for me to say, "This is exactly what you should do."

But I don't.

Want to know why? Because I do not know for sure. Their choices are not between good and evil. They are not choices of righteousness versus unrighteousness. They are trying to decide which path to take, which way to go.

But I don't know.

So, I tell them– and I hope– that whatever they do, they do their best with a pure heart. I tell them to take the information and knowledge they have, weigh it, and make the best decision they can. I tell them that whatever decision they make, I will support them. I won't second-guess them.

But I cannot guarantee they won't second-guess themselves. They are, after all, my progeny.

Years ago, when Donya and I were first married, Mickey Rooney starred in Bill, a movie about a mentally challenged man. Rooney's character had but one aspiration: to learn.

When asked why he wanted to learn, Bill replied, "Because if I learn, I will be a regular, good man."

Sometimes, I wish my greatest aspiration in life had been just that.