A Conversation between EAGER and CURIOUS.
EAGER: You know, I think God has a Plan for me.
CURIOUS. What do you mean, a Plan?
EAGER: Well, He directs my life, since I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Saviour. I see signs of God working in my life.
CURIOUS. What kinds of signs?
EAGER: My wife and I are getting along better. We stop and think - pray - before we answer back each other or make a decision.
CURIOUS. Doesn’t that mean that you are making your own decisions, but with more kindness, more love?
EAGER: We feel God makes the decisions for us. Let go, let God.
CURIOUS. Does that mean that God takes away your freedom to choose?
EAGER: When we have given our life to God, we no longer need freedom. We are freely giving ourselves to God.
CURIOUS. How about your children, or the people you work with, neighbours? How does your Christian faith affect them?
EAGER: We try to tell them about God’s love.
CURIOUS. Do you talk about God’s love when you are making a decision with a neighbour about clearing the driveway? Or discussing a business proposal with your colleagues at work?
EAGER: We try to see how God is guiding us in those decisions.
CURIOUS. What about God’s influence on the other people involved?
EAGER: If they have accepted God as their Saviour, then we must agree on what we do.
CURIOUS. Really? I see a lot of evidence that people who are faithful Christians disagree on many things. What about business ethics: does your Christian faith affect your attitude to your employers or your employees? Do you approve of big business out-sourcing jobs to underpaid Third World countries and so increasing unemployment here at home?
EAGER: I think you are trying to get me into a corner: to contradict myself.
CURIOUS. Perhaps I need to know what is involved if I think of myself as a Christian. My questions to you are about things which face a large number of people in the world. Do you think that God cares about poverty and economics, even the environment?
EAGER: Jesus said: “the poor you have ever with you.”
CURIOUS. He said that in circumstances in which he was referring to an act of kindness from someone to him, when his time with his followers was soon to end. He also said: “Blessed are the poor.”
EAGER: Maybe that means that it is good to be poor.
CURIOUS. Do you really think God wants people to suffer poverty? How could that be blessed?
EAGER: It is important for people to give thanks even for the little they have, not to envy others who are more fortunate.
CURIOUS. More fortunate? Do you realize there was a pagan goddess called “Fortuna”? Do you think a Christian can be satisfied with the idea that some people are more fortunate - and therefore wealthy - whereas others are less fortunate, and therefore poor?
EAGER: God gives us freedom to use this world’s goods and some are more successful in doing that.
CURIOUS. Now you say you give up freedom once you choose God, but on the other hand freedom in the marketplace is part of God’s Plan.
EAGER: I said you were trying to make me contradict myself!
CURIOUS. Maybe we need to talk again about freedom and God’s Plan.
Well, here’s a how-de-do! I can see that this sort of Mole is setting out to tunnel under many comfortable assumptions at once. And you know what some people do when they find many mole-tunnels in their manicured lawns….I have heard that some even resort to (low level) dynamite.
1. What if the dialogue were turned around a bit in a subsequent Mole so that CURIOUS comes to have doubts about whether and how he can effect changes of the sort he desires?
2.Does CURIOUS urge EAGER to abandon the idea that God might have a Plan for the world, or for him?
3. If God does have some kind of Plan, for somebody somewhere, where and how do we learn what it is, and then how do we follow it? If not, what are we doing here anyway?
4. Maybe this is the voice of CONFUSED, who is waiting in the background?
I once had a professor who announced — of an essay he particularly liked — “This is the sort of essay that fills a much needed gap.”
Long may you wave and continue to unsettle us, productively!