“No two people’s experience of life is the same. You and I could both be eating the same food, or hearing the same song, or seeing the same film, or feeling the same wind… but your and my experience of these would be different. People often think of life as something that is happening to them as if you don’t really get a choice in what happens in life. Each of us is born out of the image, likeness and being of God. The first picture we often get of God is God as creator. Likewise, each of us has this creative capacity within us. Life is not what happens to you, it’s what you create out of what shows up in each moment.
People often use the phrase, “God is in control.” It’s a way we soothe ourselves when the randomness of life seems cruel and painful. We like the idea that God has a plan and is continuously weaving together the circumstances of our lives to achieve it.
But perhaps consider it this way. Life is never random because life is not what happens to you, but is what you create out of what shows up in each moment. In other words, God is “in control,” not because God is pulling all those strings in the background to make everything work out one way or another, but God is “in control” because God endowed us with the capacity to create our experience of life.
This seems evident in the life of Jesus. If God was pulling strings on Jesus’ behalf, God didn’t seem to do such a great job, given all the trouble, difficulty, hardship, rejection, betrayal, and abuse Jesus endured. There were even moments when it seemed to Jesus as though God had abandoned him altogether. But Jesus operated within the truth of who he was, which was the deciding element of how Jesus experienced life.
A paraphrase of Hebrews 12:2 reads, Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever.”
In other words, each of us would be wise to consider how Jesus approached life. He was not protected from the hardships of human living, and yet he brought to each moment of life an awareness of the truth – the truth of his identity in and with God. Jesus said knowing this truth sets us free. It sets us free in this moment, and the next moment, and the next moment, and the next. This truth… this freedom… invites us to create our experience of life.”
- Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge