By: Fr. HAYNES HUBBARD
Sebastian, our 10-year-old, loves his Lego. He loves to spread it all over the floor in his bedroom, where it makes a very tempting target indeed for his little brother, the slitherer! That one would like nothing better than to fill his mouth will little Lego pieces, which would not be a good thing at all.
Sebastian likes to create cars, castles, knights, cities and whole worlds in fact – all in the confines of his chaotic bedroom. If you ask him what he is creating next, chances are very good that he doesn’t know because he hasn’t thought it up yet.
If you ask him what is going to happen to his knights and their castles already created, he will respond the same way: “I don’t know. They haven’t decided yet”.
Which is precisely, as far as I can understand it, the way God has created us. He has created our world, and we in it. He has made us into the people we are with gifts, struggles, blessings and constraints. We are not, similar to Sebastian’s Lego people, given the same things. Some have much more and some have much less.
But it is not what we have or don’t have that should concern us, rather it is what we do with what we have which should be our real concern. Sebastian’s Lego knights have vastly different armour. Some hardly have any at all and routinely get squashed. But always they have, in his hands and in his imagination, an opportunity to act, on their own, for themselves.
Likewise, Christians believe that God has not made us into robots to be used at his will. He loves his creation and its creatures too much to simply see it as a toy or them as automatons. Instead he has given us that most frightening gift of all – freedom: to choose what is right and good and bring it about in our own sphere of influence and power.
St Paul puts it this way: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Which is to say that we have this opportunity: to choose that good which is before us, given to us by God; to choose it, and to act upon it”.
What a thought. What an opportunity. What a challenge.
Sebastian lives with his dad, Fr Haynes Hubbard, in Praia da Luz, from where Fr. Hubbard leads St. Vincent’s Anglican Chaplaincy with congregations in Luz, Almancil and Gorjões, Sta Bárbara de Nêxe.