The Shack: Have you noticed I have never really acted in that capacity with you?

Copy of Copy of -Then,” Mack struggled to ask, “which one of you is God-”.png

“Have you noticed that even though you call me Lord and King, I have never really acted in that capacity with you? I’ve never taken control of your choices or forced you to do anything, even when what you were about to do was destructive or hurtful to yourself and others.”

The Shack, Wm. Paul Young, pp 144-6.

Here it is in context in the book, The Shack:

The beauty was staggering. He could make out the shack, where smoke leisurely rose from the red, brick chimney as it nestled against the greens of the orchard and forest. But dwarfing it all was a massive range of mountains that hovered above and behind, like sentinels standing guard. Mack simply sat, Jesus next to him, and inhaled the visual symphony.

“You do great work!” he said softly.

“Thank you, Mack, and you’ve seen so little. For now most of what exists in the universe will only be seen and enjoyed by me, like special canvasses in the back of an artist’s studio, but one day… And can you imagine this scene if the earth was not at war, striving so hard just to survive?”

“And you mean what, exactly?”

“Our earth is like a child who has grown up without parents, having no one to guide and direct her.” As Jesus spoke, his voice intensified in subdued anguish. “Some have attempted to help her but most have simply tried to use her. Humans, who have been given the task to lovingly steer the world, instead plunder her with no consideration, other than their immediate needs. And they give little thought for their own children who will inherit their lack of love. So they use her and abuse her with little consideration and then when she shudders or blows her breath, they are offended and raise their fist at God.”

“You’re an ecologist?” Mack said, half as an accusation.

“This blue-green ball in black space, filled with beauty even now, battered and abused and lovely.”

“I know that song. You must care deeply about the Creation,” smiled Mack.

“Well, this blue-green ball in black space belongs to me,” Jesus stated emphatically.

After a moment, they opened their lunches together. Papa had filled the sacks with sandwiches and treats and both ate heartily. Mack munched on something that he liked, but couldn’t quite decide if it was animal or vegetable. He thought it might be better not to ask.

“So why don’t you fix it?” Mack asked, munching on his sandwich. “The earth, I mean.”

“Because we gave it to you.”

“Can’t you take it back?”

“Of course we could, but then the story would end before it was consummated.”

Mack gave Jesus a blank look.

“Have you noticed that even though you call me Lord and King, I have never really acted in that capacity with you? I’ve never taken control of your choices or forced you to do anything, even when what you were about to do was destructive or hurtful to yourself and others.”

Mack looked back at the lake before responding. “I would have preferred that you did take control at times. It would have saved me and people I care about a lot of pain.”

“To force my will on you,” Jesus replied, “is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy.”

“That’s the beauty you see in my relationship with Abba and Sarayu. We are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be. Papa is as much submitted to me as I to him, or Sarayu to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way.”

Mack was surprised. “How can that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?”

“Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.”

“And that’s how you want us to love each other, I suppose? I mean between husbands and wives, parents and children. I guess in any relationship?”

“Exactly! When I am your life, submission is the most natural expression of my character and nature, and it will be the most natural expression of your new nature within relationships.”

“And all I wanted was a God who will just fix everything so no one gets hurt.” Mack shook his head at the realization. “But I’m not very good at relationship stuff.”

The Shack, Wm. Paul Young, pp 144-6.

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