Choose to do good.
I can do what I want, when I want.
My life, my rules.
No matter the consequence, it is my life. You can’t tell me what to do.
Free will is so crazy. Have you ever thought about it? The individual is able to make a choice –whether good or bad – and it becomes theirs. Regardless of what results from it, it remains within
their hands. Life is so unique in this way. I know it is strange saying that life is ‘unique’, but truly, compared to all material or extraneous realities, human life is so beautiful. It is grounded upon this idea that we each have a ‘self’. We have motives, ambitions and aspirations that drive a will. We choose. It appears that it is ours.
Of course there are exceptions I have to note – those who are deprived of their will, in very harmful ways… or forced to take a pathway that does not coincide with their nature or interests. For bystanders, this is something heart-wrenching to witness, and we hear ourselves chanting and praying, ‘Give them back their rights…’
I can’t help but feel as though this tells us something important about free will – it is the root of our human nature. We cannot stand when others are pulled away from having this privilege. It is granted as the first gift to the human person. God Himself saw it as intrinsic, unimpeachable, and inalienable… astounding and beautiful.
Cool, now let me do what I want….
Now, the problem remains that our will is connected with our human nature. Sure, we need it to direct our lives, but it can cause difficulties, if we choose to let it do so. This is because our nature is not only inherently good, it can be quite selfish. The theology around this, I have no credentials to tread upon. But from what I believe, there is something always directing us towards ourselves. This isn’t something we should necessarily lament about, considering that it can be an opportunity to desire and pursue our ultimate good. We want the best for ourselves. But like I said, it can be selfish. It can harm others. This is the key: others.
We live in a world with other people. Fact. We cannot possibly eliminate this fact without truly eliminating ourselves. The human person can only be a person when there are other people. Otherwise, the term ‘person’ is entirely meaningless. Humanity is grounded not just on the pursuit of individual wills, but the will of humanity as a whole. Regardless of whether you turn away from those around you, you will still leave a space behind. You will always be connected.
This human condition problematizes the extent to which we go after our free will. But… I believe there is something God intended by this.
And for what I earlier referred to as the ‘problem’ of free will, God has provided a solution.
The mantra goes on like this: ‘me…me…only me…’
And God saw this, and said, I want it to be good.
So He created others.
The Lord understands the human person, and does not want it to coil into itself.
This is destructive.
The final outcome is death.
We know this by our Lord’s death on the cross – He died to save us from our sins… and, from ourselves. He knows this will happen if the person’s only desire is to seek itself. Every time, all the time. To seek one’s desire is difficult to understand as solely good, without becoming aware that God created it for Love.
I want your ultimate good….
He brought us into a life full of others.
Each person who walks into your life is an opportunity to know and love God.
I can almost see how God yearns for us through His creation. He knows the best thing we can possibly have is Him.
And in the way that every person is made in His image, so His words and His love can be revealed in their words and their love…
Our free will remains enslaved when we centre it within ourselves. We forget what we have been called for. We forget that our free will is not just a gift for us, but a gift for humankind. I must turn away from myself and make a second offering of that gift, for the smile, the suffering, the dignity of the other person…
Do not entrap yourself in a pattern of slavery.
Free will is only free when it is offered in Love.
You were made to be free.
Do you see?
You are blinded if you seek yourself. And how unhappy you are when you do!
Now, turn to Me, and I will show you the essence of your life…. You were born to love.