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Reflections on Free Will by Sending a Daughter to College

Brother Sir Knights in Christ,and friends,

     The Saturday of Labor Day weekend, my wife Kathy and I moved our daughter into her dorm at Hanover College. She had never spent any time away from us in her eighteen years. We settled her in along with her small refridgerator, microwave, computer, TV, VCR, clothes and bedding; with only two outlets to power this electrical extravaganza, extension cords and power strips were everywhere.

     We bid our farewells and during the trip home, Kathy and I wondered if Julie would become "homesick", and would she have trouble adjusting to life without our direct guidence? We did our best to give gher a good Christian foundation upon which to build the rest of her life. Her decisions would be the test of how well we did our job.

     What has this to do with "free will"? Many of us have wrestled with the Free Will concept. It would have been much easier for GOD just to have made us follow his divine will, thus assuring everyone a place in Heaven. Can you imagine how neat a world without sin would be? If GOD designed us to follow his will, then He would not have had to sacrifice Christ, his son, on the cross for our sins.

     Why did GOD give us free will? If he cared for us wouldn’t he have forced us to do his bidding, thereby guaranteeing us a place in Heaven? I have often reflected upon this free will concept without reaching a good reason for his motive until I dropped my daughter off at Hanover.

     Kathy and I worried about our daughter making the right decisions ans getting by on her own for the first several weeks. Then the reports came back to us by telephone, e-mail, and a visit home for a day. Julie is doing well and loves college life in the dorm! Homesick? More like sick of home! Her visit was breif and she couldn’t wait to return to school. She loves college life, being on her own & making her own decisions.

     We are extremely proud of her and the way she is settling in. She is doing well both academically and socially. She is attending church. We have the thrill of watching her succeed on her own.

     I would like to think of GOD in a parental role. He loves us and I’m sure that he wants to have all of us in heaven wityh him, however, I can also imagine the extreme satisfacion he recieves when we, as his children, choose his plan of salvation.

                    " Let us choose to us by this judgement:  Let us know among ourselves what is good."
                                                                                                                                    --- --- Job chapter 34, verse 4

     I recall the story about the songbird who was kept in a cage.  The bird asked his owner for freedom.   "Why would you want to be able to fly around outside where if a predator doesn't eat you, sickness, cold weather or starvation might kill you?  Here in your cage you have everything you need; food, water and shelter."
  The bird replied that in spite of all those securities he wanted to try his own wings and fly.  The owner reluctantly set him free.  He flew out the window.   After that the bird appeared daily to serenade hime with a beautiful voice.

    GOD has given us the freedom to choose, and it is still up to us to make our choices.  As Knight Templars and as Masons, we are taught how and what to choose that which is pleasing to GOD.   And upon that beautiful moment when we share God's heavenly kingdom, how much sweeter it will seem... not because GOD forced it upon us, but because we chose to be reunited with him and bask in his love for the rest of eternity.

Fraternally yours,

Sam Witherup PC
Hanselmann Commandery No. 16 K.T.


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