If I think it is bad to go to trade school rather than college, do I have a right to force that opinion on my daughter who is a whiz at fixing up old cars or my son who longs to be a chef? What makes college better than training as a craftsman/artist? So if we as humans find many more things "good" than a single path, how would you have God confined His creation to allow only 'good'? By whose definition? And how would that look in front of my house on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.?
God could have created a world without choice or limited choices to unimportant fashion preferences (which color flowers shall I pick today?) And some argue that God may have just such a family of moral automatons tucked away in a far corner of the universe But in this world God conserved for us the choice to opt for good or evil, not just once, but each and every day.
The Bible says we were created in the image of God. Now I don't see that meaning that God has two eyes, two ears and ten toes. Rather I believe that God created us with the capacity to be in relationship with God, to learn:
to love as God loves us,
to let go of fear,
to trust in God's ultimate might and God's
willingness to exercise that might for our true and highest good.
Here is the thing I find most amazing: God does not ask us to do anything FOR GOD. I have nothing that I can give to increase God's stature, or power, or further God's goals or stroke God's ego.
But the Bible says God IS love.* So being created in God's image all I can give God is love, to be willing to be loved, to grow in love, to choose love over hate time and time and time again. It is only to the degree that I embrace love, share love, respond to and in love that I am content and fulfilling the good and joyous purpose for which I was created.
Unlike the uber-needy, demanding and self-serving stalker threatening pain if each whim is not worshiped, we are offered a relationship with the great I AM. One with total freedom to do good and do well at all times and in all places. But then we respond to the challenges of this world it is in an altogether different context. God asks us to live amid the uninterested, distant, distracted, unhappy, narrow, lost, angry, unrepentant, dirty, sulky, frightened, weak, scary people who are running from God, ignoring God, denying God.
This is because God loves them too and claims them as God's beloved (even when they are at their most willful and stubborn), the wayward daughters and sons of the most High. So we are called to live and grow and love with increasing skill and commitment by the Grace of God through the Power of the Spirit of God so they might entertain a different path, called to live lives that are proof that they too have a chance to be wooed and won. They too have full access to a life of purpose, talking to God, turning their faces to God that they might be consumed by hope, faith, joy and love for ever and ever. AMEN