I have a confession.
You may not think it’s a big thing, but I very much enjoy fried chicken wings.
I make a pretty regular habit of buying that very product from a local company who I believe does one of the better iterations of the—to me at least—delicious foodstuff.
In fact, I made my way to that very place this evening, intent on purchasing the delectable treat discussed.
I often use the drive through these days, for one reason or another. That was my desired method of conveyance this evening.
The problem came when I got to the window.
I searched for my wallet, but my casting about was in vain.
I recently lost that important item. You may be assured, the possibility that I had done so again, caused me to fly into a panic.
The folks at the restaurant allowed me to get my food without paying for it. They know me pretty well, and were well assured I would compensate them for what was given me as soon as I was able.
In the meantime (after picking up my meal), I sped about, trying to locate my precious lost property.
I basically turned over my vehicle, and made it all the way back to the place I’d previously found myself (the gas station at which I try to always fill my vehicle), before I found the thing for which I searched so despairingly in my front pocket (where I generally will not put it).
You might be wondering what this has to do with the subject of “Crutch.”
Allow me to elaborate.
I am a Christian.
A good many unbelievers, count those of us who do accept the Divine, as “leaning on a crutch.”
The reasoning is, “If you count God to be real, you’re just leaning on that supposition, to excuse your shortcomings, and give you comfort when things aren’t going well.”
I’m not saying there’s no such idea in my life.
What I am saying though is, “When things go wrong, I do not blame the Almighty.”
My “loss of” my wallet, was strictly my fault.
It would have been so had I misplaced it whilst being distracted by another.
Equally, though I’m sure God had His purpose(s) in my mistake, I don’t count Him “responsible for” my folly.
Put simply, in basically nothing, do I look at my circumstance, and say, “This is all God’s fault.”
Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve already intimated, I believe He has a plan for each thing that occurs in my life (and in yours as well, frankly).
But the thing I managed to mess up, was on me alone.
See, if that weren’t the case, it wouldn’t be possible for me to have free will.
That is, I wouldn’t be “pulling the strings.” Rather, the Creator would.
One upshot of this, is that things get somewhat difficult to explain.
If on the one hand, I believe the “hairs on my head are numbered (and I do),” I have to account it reasonable to say God is aware of each and every thing that has happened, is happening, or will happen in my life.
On the other hand, if I say that I have free will (that I can act of my own accord—make my own mistakes, and have successes as well), I have to acknowledge that, though in some sense, my “steps are ordered,” at the same time I realize I’m free to make my own choices.
Lots of folks find this nigh unto impossible to reconcile—if not totally so.
For my part, I believe it to be a “matter of perspective.”
Though God knows all that will happen, because I cannot see through His eyes, I do not.
You can call it illusory if you choose (for my part I don’t count it so), but by this mechanism, it’s possible to reconcile the two nicely.
If I’ve free will, and can be counted responsible for my error, failures, and successes, the argument that I’m “using my belief as a crutch,” somewhat loses its teeth.
It’s this understanding that I think a lot of unbelievers lack.
I want to take a moment to turn things around.
If you’re one who believes you’re defined by a series of chemical reactions, besides that you have a hard time dealing with diversity of reaction to similar (much less identical) scenarios (I get you can use the “x-factor” to explain such things), you also are “leaning on the crutch of your beliefs” when you do so.
If I’m unable to make decisions, but for the chemicals flowing through me—the atoms that compose the physical me—then I can readily make the argument that no thing I do is a matter of choice.
Is this not the very thing many who don’t hold as I do, accuse me of?
As usual, I’m more than willing to hear how my line of reasoning is errant.
That said, most who hold there’s a simple—if a bit perverse—explanation for all that occurs (we could go into why I find this to be untrue, but that’s really a matter for another essay), pretty much must fall on the idea that things happening, are just a “function of the running code.”
If that’s true, why is anybody in prison for wrongdoing except for that being another algorithmic component in the code base.
It also begs the question (assuming I’m using the expression correctly, forgive me if that’s not the case), “Except for the fact that doing so is part of the running program, why bother to hold forth at all?”
Perhaps I’m missing something here. I’d be glad to hear what it might be.
For my part though, you need to be aware, I do not “count it God’s fault” when I fail, or even when things go wrong, as such.
Rather, I consider myself to have done the things that brought me to where I am.
That’s not to say the King of Kings can’t make it so my “landing place” is better or worse within a given set of parameters, just that I still need to take responsibility for where I am, and why.
You may agree or disagree with this perspective, that too, is a matter of free will in my mind.
It was my fault I “misplaced” my wallet, not something I attribute to the action of the Creator. Take that for what it’s worth.