A friend will be attending a ladies event at a church near a Native American reservation tomorrow. She is the speaker for the event, while the crafts are drying – what a great idea! Anyway, God asked that she speak on the topic of our identity. That got me to thinking
Why do the Native Americans and African Americans have such a hard time with their identity as a part of the United States? And the answer that came to me is: Choice.
Neither had a choice in their being a part of this country. One group was overrun, the other group was brought here against their will.
The creature comforts we have now far outshine what was available to the Native Americans before white people showed up. And most people in the US are also more comfortable than many Africans. So one might think that, now that slavery is over, and now that Native Americans don’t have to live on reservations, everyone should be thrilled to be a part of the US. Yes, there is still a lot of prejudice against these two people groups. But even if they were treated fairly, I think they would still be hesitant to truly embrace their place as full heirs to what the US has to offer. Again, because they were not given the decency of choice.
My ancestors all had a choice in coming to the United States. Some ended up having very tough lives here. Others really thrived, but all felt like they belonged. Because they chose to belong.
I am not sure what needs to happen to help Native Americans and African Americans overcome the atrocities done to them. That is and will continue to be a complicated, long, slow but very important process for us all to be a part of.
But this issue got me thinking about a theological question that has bugged me in the past, and a question my teen daughter still struggles with: Why does God allow us to choose to do things that aren’t good for us? Specifically, why did God allow Adam and Eve to introduce sin into the world? Why couldn’t we all just be made perfect, unable to make bad choices?
I now understand more fully, it is because He knows that for us to truly want to belong in heaven, for us to truly feel respected, for us to truly cherish being a part of His family, we need to have a choice.
Animals don’t get to choose their destinies. We do.
God loves you and wants you to choose to love Him, too – to step into your full destiny as His child.
“Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20