There was a point around that proverbial wallop across my forehead by that invisible 2 X 4 that was before, or shortly after my ‘Point of Origin’ posting: “Love, Gratitude, Regret, and a Blank TV Screen”; namely, my reference to, “Gratitude and its evil red-headed step sibling – Regret.” I vaguely recall where my head was at the time, and despite my foggy memory, I do recall having one amazing, memorable discussion while chain smoking Marlboro Lights, and consuming copious amounts of coffee at the Perkins restaurant in homely Decatur, Illinois. In attendance with none other than your humble writer was a substance abuse counselor for Southern Norfolk Railroad, and an intern at St. Mary’s Hospital: Alcohol Drug Abuse Treatment Center. Between the three of us, our combined sobriety/clean time was well over 20 years. The other gentlemen (use that word loosely) were dual addicted to drugs and alcohol while your humble writer was your boring, but self-respecting, run-of-the-mill drunk with some 4 years recovery at the time. (If you ever caught wind of our lurid conversations, all of us could have easily added ‘sex’ to our respective addictions).
A comment by one of my humble readers of late spoke of a decision some 22 years ago that they were still having a difficult time wrapping their head around, that after all this time, the ‘ugly monster (regret) keeps rearing its ugly head’ in their soul. What struck me were the three words of this post, “Gods Perfect Plan.” Those three words, as referenced by my reader, and the general context of their comment, were the very words we three drunks and drug addicts had mulled over for hours that fateful day in Decatur.
If my memory was half that of a 5 year old, I might be able to pluck out some of the more profound words of wisdom we shared that day, but since I smoked one too many joints of pot with PCP sprayed on it, and drank one (or a 100) too many cases of Miller Lite prior to my decision to turn my will and life over to God as I understand Him, I’ll have to extract what I can from my life as it was affected later with the collective knowledge culled from that coffee, and nicotine infused day.
One fraction of that days conversation that I remember all too well, was our long discourse on the topic of God, and the gift he has given us, aside from life; that of ‘Free Will’.
‘Free Will’ is, in my humble opinion, “Gods Perfect Plan” for us. Much of what was discussed that day revolved around Gratitude, Regret, and Gods Perfect Plan, but most heated was our discussion regarding Free Will.
I recall, and it has become my deeper meaning of Gods Perfect Plan for us, a point that all 3 of us freely acknowledged, and agreed upon, that God knows now to infinity, exactly how each and every person’s life will play out. The supreme paradox of this realization is that, despite knowing exactly how the movie will look, God has given each of us Free Will to do as we choose.
This was a contentious, and might I add, an intense, and often times animated part of our discussion. Two conflicting thought provoking questions:
- If Gods Perfect Plan for us is already mapped out, and He has unreservedly given us Free Will to do as we please, how then can His Perfect Plan be so perfect when we are, by our very nature, imperfect?
- How is it that we can make decisions that will affect the “entire universe and life continuum”, affecting every particle of life and those next to it, thereby affecting every other souls existence, now and forever, but still He has the Perfect Plan for everyone now, and into eternity?
I must admit, that after hours of discussion, we three (tongue in cheek) wise men were no closer to answering the previous questions than we were able to understand quantum physics. But, I will say this – After years of discovery, after I was able to cast aside my blinders that defined my then very simplistic view of Gods Perfect Plan, I have come to some conclusions.
Before I humbly draw any conclusions, allow me to submit myself to one truth I hold self evident: I am but one person with one perspective on a topic that has befuddled every living soul for as long as we have been in existence, whether we are evolutionists, or we believe in the Garden of Eden. The purpose of this blog, and all the posts that I may weave others’ experiences into my own, is to invoke thought, discussion, and yes, even disagreement.
This, Gods Perfect Plan, the ‘Free Will’ of decisions we have been granted, or we hold sacred as our inherent choice, and how we might tie in, or dismiss altogether, how regret plays any role in Gods Perfect Plan, I humbly submit these conclusions:
- Gratitude is an unconditional acceptance that nothing happens in Gods world by mistake. Since He has, infinitely in the past, present, and in the future, a plan, or as raised by the question above, already mapped out our collective existence, every decision, and how every particle relates to its brethren, and if we’re to unconditionally accept this plan, then our decisions, good, bad, or indifferent, are, by their very nature, Gods Perfect Plan.
- Since Regret is our finite definition of our plan, and not that of Gods Perfect Plan, then regret clearly falls outside of both his plan, but is also contradictory to a decision that cannot be undone, for the simple reason that it is already done, thereby falling in line with His Perfect Plan, ie. Our Free Will.
For so long as we live in regret of any decision we make, or don’t make, by our very decision to do so, and if we admit to the questions posed above, and the conclusions presented, we are coming full circle to Gods Perfect Plan in that all decisions, even those that may be decisions to feel regret, are in fact part of His Perfect Plan.