So said Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of God to Jim Carey’s character in the film ‘Bruce Almighty’.
Jesus teaches that ‘the things we permit on earth will be permitted by heaven’; those we deny will be denied too—we have a responsibility, individually and together for much of what happens about us in life. Herein, is the concept that God has given humanity free will (we have our ;rights’) and the choice to decide the path we would take (we have responsibility too for many of the consequences of action). We often hear folks say, why does God not stop this or allow that; but would this not take away our independence and make us little more than robots? Is it also symptomatic of the desire to have ‘rights’ but share none of the ‘responsibility’?
Of course, our desire that someone would act, especially when we see suffering or poverty, is because, by and large, we are a compassionate species. At Remembrance we will say again ‘greater love has no man than this, that they should lay down their life for another’. Oh, that we would have no war to require this; but we can offer ourselves in service to others in peaceful activities too.
Human beings, it seems then have a great capacity to care, to assist when there is need, and to also shift the blame and look for someone else to solve the problems – be that circumstance, science, God or another person.
What Jesus is keen to remind us all is that we have a role, a part to play in seeing the world of peace, love, care and justice come to being. We hold the responsibility, if we permit things we should not be surprised if they occur. If we also say ‘no’ to the good occurring we should not be surprised we see hatred, anger, envy and destruction all about us. If we want to see good, we need to be good. If we want to know forgiveness, we need to be forgiving people too.
In the end, if we want our village to be a place with activities for our children, we need to volunteer for groups like the Scouts and Guides and football club. If we want community events to occur then we need to get involved and volunteer to help with IDCA, the Town Trust or Parish Council. If we want to see good, then we have to be the good, if we want to see peace, we need to be peaceful people; if we want to see a miracle, we need to be the miracles! Wise words indeed.