Chapter 4 ~ We can choose
Why did the Creator make everything? The endless universe shows how great and powerful the Creator is. But there is more. He could have stopped after having made the world with living plants, animals and humans. But He did not stop. He gave man the ability to make his own choices.
With this the Creator added a very special ingredient to His creation. He gave people the ability to respect and love Him, or to do what they want and ignore Him. You and I can choose to accept that we are created. We can appreciate this and let our Creator know. But you can also choose to ignore the existence of the Creator and live in a way that you think is best, or let other people decide what is right for you.
The most important choice
What choices have you made today? Often choices seem unimportant, but they can make a big difference. Listen to the story of Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant in the Soviet air force. If Petrov had not acted the way he did, a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union would have been probable. This could have destroyed the entire world.
On September 26, 1983, Petrov was at work. His job was to monitor the Soviet warning systems. Several alarms went off, signalling that US missiles had been launched at Soviet targets. Petrov’s job was to start firing back. But he had a feeling something was wrong and decided not to inform his superiors yet. He knew what the terrible consequences for the world could be if he did.
I turned out to be a false alarm in the end. Petrov’s decision to disobey his orders saved not only his own country, but the whole world.
You see how a small decision can have big consequences. Not only for yourself, but also for the people around you.
Fortunately, most of your daily choices do not have such important consequences. But we all face a very important decision that will determine our life and future. The most important choice of your life is whether you accept that there is a Creator. If you ignore the existence of the Creator, there will not be any immediate visible consequences. The world will not end. But your choice does determine your future and perhaps that of others as well.
Every human being is born and therefore has a mother. How would your mother feel if you chose to ignore her and deny that you owe your life to her? You can ignore your mother, but that does not change the fact that you were born.
How would the Creator feel if you chose to ignore Him?
Do you want to live as an orphan? Or do you want to discover more about Who made you? How could you learn more? Why would He have given you the freedom to make choices in your life?
If you could see the Creator
How could we discover more about our Creator? We cannot see Him and ask what He wants.
There are a number of reasons why we cannot see Him. First of all, He is not a creature, but the Creator Himself. You can imagine He is all around us as a spiritual Being.
But another reason has to do with our freedom. If you could always see Him, would you still be able to make your own choices? What would you do if you could see the Creator all day long and you are aware that He watches what you do? Would you still be able to ignore Him? In that case, it would take a lot of nerve or stupidity to do something He does not want.
You are only able to make your own choices if you are not immediately corrected when doing something wrong. You can only learn if you are allowed to make mistakes. Without the freedom of choice, you can only do what you are told. Just like animals, that only react from instinct.
Every day I discover that having to choose is not easy. There are so many challenges. One of the advantages is that in this way, life is never boring or predictable. Many challenges make life worth living. When I overcome a challenge, I have learned something. But wrong choices can cause much sorrow. I have often made bad choices, which harmed other people and caused much pain. They were mistakes I am still ashamed of, mistakes that often cannot be made right.
Our freedom of choice involves more than just the people around us. The most important choice is what you think about your Creator. If you accept that He exists and that He made you, the next question is whether you respect Him. To be able to do that, you must be willing to discover what is important to Him. It is up to you to find the answer to this question. You cannot have the culture you grew up in or the people around you decide what the answer should be. You are personally responsible for your thoughts about your Creator.
Even if you know there is a Creator, it is only human to leave it at that. We often do what we want, or we let others determine what our lives should be like. We easily forget to think consciously about the most important choices in life.
What is the purpose of your life?
Once you know there is a Creator, do you also want to know why He created you? Do you think it was just for His own pleasure? Or do you think it does not matter at all what you do with your life? Is anything expected of you?
Do you think you could find the answer in one of the many religions? There are more than 4,000 religions to choose from. Most religions have an answer to the question why we exist. But all religions paint a different picture of the Creator and some religions even have several gods. Almost all religions give a different answer to the question about the purpose of life.
Some people think that each religion shows part of who the Creator is. As if you look at the same person from different angles. Is it possible that all religions show part of the truth? Unfortunately, that is impossible. Different religions have completely contradictory explanations about creation and the Creator. Especially about the purpose of life there are many different opinions. If we want to continue, we must search for the absolute truth.
With the freedom of choice we not only have the ability to accept that there is a Creator. You will also have to find out the truth about the Creator. Is your image of the Creator the truth?
What is the truth?
The Creator Himself is the only truth. He is not dependent on the image we make of Him. The truth about Him cannot be determined by a culture or religion. We must go to the source.
How can we discover the truth?
Who is the Creator and why has He made us?