Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
And walk in the ways of Your heart, and in the sights of your eyes;
but know that for these things God will bring you to judgment. (Ecclesiastes 11:9, HCSB)
I don’t believe in predetermination. I don’t believe in a micromanaging control-freak of a Deity.
I believe in freedom; I believe in a wondrous God who gives choice. Who empowers His children to freely participate in the stories He is writing.
I was laying in bed looking up at the ceiling wondering angsty teenage things like what the purpose of life is and what this all meant. You know—the thoughts of early mornings or late nights or in the showers. I got mopey and began to think that perhaps this semester was supposed to be an academic fail. I sank deeper into my covers and turned towards the wall.
I give up.
Then I had a clarifying thought; no voice, just a realization that I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
I could lay down and throw away the day by skipping classes, or I could carpe diem.
Each choice came with a network of consequent sub choices for the rest of the day.
I got up.
I hustled to Hebrew, barefoot and wearing my comfort blankie because, well, being barefoot made me cold. I continued to make healthy choices for the rest of the day; each healthy choice demanded I believe I wasn’t stuck in a predestined narrative of failure.
I was tested. My faith was tested.
Do I really believe God desires my health and my salvation? Or should I stay here—under these covers of predetermined failure? It was in my heart and in my eyes to live well. So I tried—motivated by the belief that I was free to choose life.
The passage quoted is radical and scary. It invites humans to stop freaking out, get glad, and live by what seems wise in your eyes. It says go and live, but don’t forget there will be accounts to give.
I used to think I needed God to spell out all my life choices so I could live a morally upright life, but now I believe God wants each of us to be guided by Wisdom and make free choices. He doesn’t want puppets so He offers a cup of radical freedom to His children.
Freedom is intoxicating—drink responsibly.