Have bad things ever happened to you or someone you love? Does it make you question whether your creator really loves us? How could a creator that loves you and all its children sit idly by while exposing us to every catastrophe and horror one can imagine? Might we think of bad things in two categories?
Might the first category include the human evil our creator fails to eliminate? Examples could include pedophiles, rapists, wars, torture, terrorists, predators, murderers. The list goes on and on.
Might the second category include everything to which our creator exposes us. Examples could include disease, painful experiences, chronic pain, natural disasters, aging, famines, vulnerability to physical, mental and emotional challenges, ferocious animal attacks, disease-carrying insects, poisoning by snakes and other animals. Again, the list goes on and on.
Our creator must be all-powerful. If it wanted to, it could protect us from both categories of this badness. If it loved us, why wouldn’t it? Firstly, let’s take the “If” out of our discussion. Our creator does love us and wants us to love it and all its created as selflessly and unconditionally as we are able. If you question this, you’ll find sound reasoning to establish it in the Meaning of Life Video Series.
Having established that our creator loves us, let’s begin our pursuit of answers by examining the first category. For our creator to receive our love, must it not give us the choice to love it? Can true love be forced? If not, must our creator not give us the free will to choose to accept its will or to reject it in favour of our own will? If our creator needs us to have free will, can it prevent pedophiles, rapists, torturers, terrorists, predators, murderers and so on from acting on it?
Most of us respect our free will and occasionally deploy it for good. Some of us succeed in putting the will of others above our will. A few succeed in putting our creator’s will ahead of their will to the best of their ability. A sadly much smaller number actively love our creator more than anyone else in their lives and so become at one with our creator. You’ll find fresh thinking about what at one means in Become At One With Creator and why so few achieve it in The Seven Stages of Discovering Life’s Purpose.
However much of the suffering we personally or vicariously suffer is of human origin. Can our creator prevent human evil without taking away our free will? Might the freely given love of the few who use their free will to love our creator be worth the price it pays in allowing evil to pervade our world?
As for the second category, our creator knows that our innate self-centeredness and self-absorption make it very difficult for us to love selflessly and unconditionally. At best we love those who love us, but almost all of us put our needs and desires above those of others. Am I being a bit harsh here or does this square with your assessment? Fortunately, we do see some exceptions. Most of us break out of this pattern when we are presented with pressing needs of others.
Might we learn to love selflessly and unconditionally only when we are presented with opportunities to care for those who suffer (sometimes terminal) disease and (sometimes chronic) pain, to care for challenged people and our aging loved ones and to send support to those experiencing famines and other natural disasters?
Are bad things our creator’s ways of protecting our free will to love it and of teaching us to selflessly and unconditionally love all its created? Is our creator’s intent to help us realize the meaning of our lives?