This passage from Astrologer’s Apprentice ruffled some feathers. I was reminded of it while listening to Jim Morrison by the pool.
“The next morning, Robert was awakened by the sound of Thomas and Rufus conversing as they worked to resuscitate the fire. Light banter about the wonders of morning tea on the river soon gave way to a much heavier conversation about Rufus’s Heaven. Having read the book, Robert had no trouble following the discussion. The men were not exactly whispering, but they were speaking softly, as if to respect their young friends’ need for sleep after a raucous night.
“Does God just give you the tools, or does He actively intervene on your behalf? If he does intervene, is it directly related to prayer, or not? If he does not intervene, a possibility that many Christians do not want to consider, does He at least provide us with clues? These are the seeds that your book planted in my mind, Rufus.”
Robert stuck his head out from under the dewy sleeping bag and adjusted his pillow so he could hear better.
“God as purely Creator or God as active guide. That is one of the many issues I tried to address. You seem to have read the book, and me, very carefully.”
Rufus poured Thomas some more hot water from the pot.
“Each of us is a divine work of art. But unlike a painting, or a sculpture, or even a book, we exist on a dynamic level. We change and evolve. We’re God’s performance art! But really, the sixty-four dollar question for me is, how much does God interact with us as individuals? Are we really, as some would propose, his little interactive programs, constantly being updated, as long as we continue to pray for His help, or could it be that we are really on our own?”
“Hey Rufus, prayer could be like On Star. When we get lost, you know, we can just ask for directions. That’s actually the way most Christians believe, and I can understand why.”
Thomas was enjoying his tea, playfully following Rufus’s line of reasoning, all the while assuming that Rufus didn’t really believe in the interactive God/man relationship thing at all. It didn’t take long for Rufus to confirm his suspicion.
“I do not subscribe to the model that implies a God that is actively assisting us along the way, the proverbial father who is always there to pick us up when we stumble and fall. I do believe that He gave each of us the tools we need, as well as an individualized plan to follow to construct our future. From the moment we take our first breath, our promise to God is to use His gifts to build ourselves up, according to the design in the blueprint, one unique for each of us. The guidance comes only from our ability and willingness to pay attention to the forces inherent in the movements of the celestial bodies. It’s up to us to follow the map and pay attention to the signs. There is no On Star. God ‘loves you’, and wants you to fulfill your promise, but He does not actively intervene to help you.”
from Chapter 31. “New Recruits” Astrologer’s Apprentice