In my prayer the other day, I decided to play the game “If I were God.” A popular “If I were God” thought, is about the idea of hell. Because, if I were God, I don’t think any short life of evil deserves eternal conscious punishment. Yes, I know, I am not God. I cannot understand these weird God things, but allow a little room for some human brain gymnastics. After all, the Truth can handle it, and if I were God, I’d give humans brains so that they can use them.
If I were God making humans, my first idea would be for everything to be good! I think I’m on the right track here, but what does that mean? I would want life to be great! No sadness, or suffering, everyone is living in the present moment, everyone makes the right choices, and we all love each other, and get along, and we don’t worry about death or dying or do anything terrible to each other, and there is really no other option.
Eeek. Paige God, what about that whole “free will” thing? Sound like you’re losing it in this perfect world of snuggly nice humans without a worry in the world. These humans sound like spoiled well-loved puppies. They do right, they stay in the present, they give love, receive love, and that’s about it. Deep and meaningful conversations might be challenging.
If I was God, I don’t think I would actually like a world where my closest companions were only dogs. I think I would like someone I could talk to, I could experience with–someone who gets me and I get them… That may come with some drawbacks. If humans can think like God, like me, like they are in the image of me, God, we got some tough stuff to deal with.
Do I even want this universe? Yes. I def do. But these conscious beings, how are they going to work without killing themselves? They probably will. Is it worth it? I mean, I’m God, so I can do what I want. They might destroy themselves, but they might also do great things, and I could get along with them and help them, and they could talk with me, and I could talk with them, and ultimately in the end, we’d all be one. Right? I’m God. I can make that happen.
So, I’m going to give these beings that are like me a short life, so that they don’t have to endure the torture of universal questions they’ll never really understand for eternity. But I will give them hopes and dreams and talents and abilities, and they’ll all fit together so perfectly, even if they don’t really get that either. And they can go after their dreams with reckless abandon because this life is all they have before I consume them.
NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM
See, that was fun. But really, it kind of made me realize how much I think of life as going after some reward or expecting some sort of punishment. It’s more difficult to get out of this kind of thinking than I think we realize. And, if I were God, I wouldn’t want the end of everything to just be a giant reward or punishment like The Good Place.
I was asked a long time ago, “What would you do if there was no reward or punishment?” Or phrased a more true way, “What would you do, if your only reward or punishment was in the present time (not eternal)?” There are always reward for doing good things, and there are consequences for doing selfish things.
This is Paige trying to figure out “WHY EVIL!?” I will end with two ideas that I’m still sitting with regarding all of this…
- “We are not punished for our sins, so much as we are punished by our sins.” Like I said, there are consequences for what we do, and we might think that those consequences only affect ourselves or whoever (like if you punch someone). We don’t think of our personal sin as affecting others that we love, like our children or friends. So, choosing not to do something bad/selfish, is less about our own reward, and more about loving and protecting others from our insanity. Or something like this.
- “If we could somehow understand the gift we’ve been given, and be genuinely grateful, how could we possibly sin?” How could we be entitled and do anything selfishly in gratitude? And maybe that is what the all-consuming God, in the end, does–makes us capable of all-consuming gratitude, where the option of evil is like an old well-rehabed addiction.
I don’t know. I’m not God…