Free Offer, Extended Deadline

Had he consulted me, things might — WOULD — have been done otherwise.

But he didn’t ask, just went ahead and spoke the Word, turning Intention into Invention, turning Nothing into Something. Unasked, all we can do is call it the Big Bang and ponder the consequences.

He populated this world with so many beautiful creatures and plants that enthral and intrigue us, and then so many that disgust or at least puzzle us. Such a proliferation it was, still is — even to the point of profligacy. Why was that all necessary? Is he trying to prove a point?

So, that point might be his creative drive? The artist in me appreciates that. After all, he went on to create humankind in his own image, with creative urges, with potential for such diverse taste and opinion that we will be forever arguing about what is good, true and accurate.

Such creative impulse gave rise to national styles and ever-changing trends…eventually to that world of advertising where each product or service competes and tries to eclipse others. It gave rise to the plethora of commodities offered by sales outlets that bombard us, assail us from the media that speak their own words.

And so often Dollar Almighty eclipses God Almighty as our vision turns toward Self.

In good times that creativity we inherited also invites us to question; to discover how to use profitably what there is in this world to solve its problems. Had he asked my opinion I’d have ratified that principle of Stewardship, of humankind taking “dominion” (his word) — inventing devices, developing medical cures and culinary tastes, peppering our media with documentaries on the wonders of the natural world and our computers with YouTube clips of animal antics.

My opinion would have applauded humanity’s attempts to improve matters, to save our world from how we have now poisoned it, to counter how it has begin to poison us back. To save ourselves form the bog of racial tension, terrorism, moral decline, political fraud, greed for money and power: that distasteful and wasteful mire which sucks us down.

Ah, but he didn’t ask for my opinion — or any other person’s — about how humankind could save itself. He had his own plans that didn’t depend upon human efforts.

The solution was offered by a baby who grew to adulthood. That solution was working well. Had he who made us asked my permission I’d have said NO, don’t cut short the career of this your Son sent to earth to teach and heal: let him live on and do good. We might never have got to this messy point in history, had he stayed. God, you asked the mob of the day — the angry mob who KILLED him — but you didn’t ask me!

But He had given the gift of Free Choice to humankind (gift? GIFT? More like a Pandora’s box!) . He had established laws that His divine sense of Justice had to observe.

So without asking for my take, he let evil deliver His Son Jesus Christ to that cross we both reverence and abhor. To this day He permits that sometimes we will fall victim not only to the consequences of our own actions but also to the free choice of others, to the collective sins of humanity.

If their choices are evil, we suffer — I’d have advised strongly against that. And He will let evil reach a certain point in modern life before He does what I would have done long ago — except He didn’t consult me.

I’d have wiped history before now — ended this Age, said goodbye to the terrible tangles of modern civilisation. Or removed that gift of free choice. But He didn’t ask.

He let it run, to increase the response time. Junk mail would call it a Free Offer with an Extended Deadline.

Had He asked me and followed my advice, Time would have ceased and we wouldn’t still be here. We’d each be where our choices had sent us. But because He wants all — everyone — alongside Him, each of his or her own free will, He is stretching out Time.

And because He hasn’t consulted me, I don’t know how long that Time will last.

But I’ve learned: God’s ways are not our ways. There’s a limit to which we’re made in His image.

So His plan was different: to give us the chance to lay aside the pride in our own achievements that HAVEN’T saved us, and the arrogance of our own opinions that HAVEN’T rid the world of evil: to acknowledge His Lordship, His claim over us, to yield to His guidance and provision and to find that fellowship with Him that was His motive in the first place.

Because he DID, and still DOES, ask us. But we are blinkered by ambition, busyness, intellect and laziness, and the overblown belief in Self. So we don’t hear — or pretend we don’t hear — the Invitation, the Offering, the Asking that we each give up what we’ve made of ourselves.

And find Him, the God of the Bible. Humanity was never intended to be a separate and self-driving entity. It needs Him.

But He needs us. And He says Today is the day of Salvation. Jesus is the way we can claim it.

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