God, Free Will, and Ruby Sparks

Do you know how many times my non-Christian friends have asked me, “If there is a God, why doesn’t he just make everyone good?”

Do you know how many times my Christian friends have discussed the same question?

Do you know how many times I’ve wrestled with the issue myself?

The answer: A lot.

Flying home from Cleveland last week, I started catching up on my Netflix queue. Ruby Sparks is a film I wished I’d seen in the theaters when it was out in 2012. Alas, had I seen it then, it may not have meant as much to me as it does now.
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The movie introduces us to Calvin, a best selling novelist in an extended state of writer’s block. One night, he dreams of a woman – his perfect match. Inspired, he loads paper into his manual Smith-Corona, and we hear the click-clack of keystrokes as the story about Ruby Sparks begins. Through the magic of movies, Calvin awakes the next morning to find his dream girl is real and living in his house.

Once Calvin creates his ideal mate, he locks the manuscript away so no one (save his brother) will know of Ruby’s true origin. Everything progresses smoothly in the relationship until Ruby discovers she can have friends and hobbies of her own; a life separate from Calvin. Having an independent mind worries him. He pulls the pages from their hiding place, begins writing again, and becomes puppet master to Ruby’s will, all with the intent to make her love him above all else. 

Watch the movie, but I will tell you, the plan of forcing Ruby’s devotion does not bode well for Calvin.

We with a faith in God believe we are His creation. Can’t he just force everyone to love Him? If God can do everything, why can’t everything be good? You know, sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns.

I’m not dealing well with the bad. You know, beheadings, poverty, and sex-trafficking. Seriously God, can’t you do something?!?

I struggle to ask that question, though, when I’m already pretty sure of His answer. He has done something. 

He’s put me here. He’s put you here. He’s put people all over the world to build up or tear down, to participate in good or in evil – but He’s left that choice to us. 

I know. Some things seem too big. I get it. I can’t stop ISIS from terrorizing fellow brothers and sisters. I can’t feed all of the poor children in my own country. I can’t stop pimps from selling girls for a profit. 

Not by myself. But,
I can research. 
I can send money to organizations who can help. 
I can keep informed to the best of my ability. 
I can volunteer to feed the homeless.
I can support companies keeping girls safe from trafficking.
I can pray.

Or

I can sit on my couch, grumble about the state of the world, and do nothing.

God gave me that choice. He loves me so much, He decided not to make me a puppet. 

I have free will. 

Towards the finale of Ruby Sparks, Calvin sits at his typewriter and pounds on the keys to release his creation. 
“She is no longer subject to his will. She is free.”

Free will. We aren’t forced to love God or each other, but will we?

*There are SO MANY different theologies regarding God’s gift of free-will. The above view is my belief, but in no way do I write this to discount yours. Differing views are one just one example to prove we are not puppets.

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