Reprinted from August 17, 2012
It is not uncommon to hear people say “do not worry, God is in control”. Does that mean that we can give God credit or blame for any and everything that happens? Does it mean that we do not have to be responsible for our lives? Does it mean that there is a divine reason for everything that happens in the day to dayness of everyday life? Does it mean that we are like puppets whose thoughts and actions are controlled by the Almighty?
I am slow to understand what is meant by such talk. The first chapter in the Bible offers a different view. The book of Genesis says that we, as humans, are to have dominion over all living things (Genesis 1:26-27). God has given humankind the responsibility to “be in charge”. We are people of free will who are to use our minds and gifts to have careful and loving dominion over all things. God has not relieved us of our responsibility to care for the earth, for each other and for ourselves. God has entrusted us with that duty.
I recently heard of a family whose son committed suicide. Some well meaning person said, “do not worry, God is in control”. I do not believe that God was in charge of that which made this person take his life. Rather I believe that God cried when that young man pulled the trigger.
Much of the pain that is in the world is because we, as the human family, have not learned how to practice love for creation and for each other. Why we want to shift the responsibility to God is…
Joe E. Pennel Jr.