Wednesday, February 21, 2007

God Only Knows

This guy got drunk, fell 16 stories and lived. He says he survived because "somebody had a plan for me". I infer that he means God had a plan because he says "There ain't too many days go by that I don't thank God that I'm still here." and he went so far as to attend church the first Sunday after he got home. It's not clear if he means that God's plan was to get Joshua to attend church that one day and pitching him out a window was the best way God could come up with to accomplish it.
Most assuredly, I don't know God's plans or his M.O. for accomplishing them. I am nevertheless skeptical when people attribute someone's death or survival to "God's will" or "God's plan". For example, assuming there is no "Funniest Heaven's Video" show up there, why would God particularly want Sonny Bono to ski into a tree?
People are often rather selective in what they credit God for. When quarterbacks throw a touchdown pass, they often point to the sky, indicating their thanks to God. When, on the next possession, the quarterback throws an interception, he never shakes his fist at the sky, indicating that he is miffed at God. If God actually is determining the outcome of the game, why even play; we could just look for the score in the Church bulletin. And, seriously, if God were interested in football, why would it be played on the Sabbath (Friday night and Saturday for you Jewish, high school and college fans or Sunday for the Christian, NFL fans - Monday or Thursday night football being an abomination).
If God has a plan for us, I believe it's a very general plan and not so specific that it involves saving Joshua Hanson from his drunken stupidity. Does Joshua believe that this conversation took place as he crashed through the window:
St. Peter: Lord, Joshua Hanson just went out the window on the 16th floor of a building.
God: Joshua Hanson? Me damn it! I have a plan for him. I turn around for one second and they all get drunk and act crazy.
St. Peter: Perhaps you should not have given them wine, as Noah himself fell into trouble with that. That aside, you still have time to save Joshua.
God: Yeah, but I don't want it to look like a miracle. My plan for him is secret and I don't want him to suspect anything. Just stick an awning under him or something.
If that was the way plans were managed in Heaven, it would make God look like Michael Scott, the manager of The Office.