I'm driven out of bed at 2:22 am with thoughts racing through my head. I hear voices crying out, "Why would a benevolent god allow bad things to happen?"
My mind becomes a whirlwind of emotions seeing within my computer a vast multi-dimensional landscape with characters looking to me as their creator, and I am flooded with guilt and understanding, for I am their creator, their god, yet I cannot create their stories without the drama that must entertain others within my realm of existence.
The hero must have obstacles to overcome and causes to champion. I think about my own life and the challenges that I have faced, and the villains I have encountered. I think about the emotions I have had to overcome and I wonder what entertainment my God and His peers have required of me to make my life story. What dramas were written into my life and what dramas did I create myself? What dramas are yet to come?
To look at the world, I have to see that there are people living realities I cannot comprehend. People in societies that are abused by rampant violence, disease and starvation. People immobilized by horrid accidents and living under the thumb of oppressive families. People who have lost children and loved ones to kidnapping or murder. And on the opposite extreme, there are people making more money every day than I've made in my entire life. People in nuclear families with perfect holidays at Christmas and Thanksgiving, who go on perfect vacations to places I've never been.
Yet all of us have stories that consume us. Stories from whence we get our triumphs and learn our lessons. Stories that make us cry and laugh and bemoan our existences. And we are each the hero and the anti-hero of our own stories. And do we each have a super-entity watching our stories and rooting for us? And does that super-entity place obstacles in our paths for the sake of drama? We would have to be as blind to the whys and wherefores of an extra-dimensional entity living above us as any avatar in any video game that wondered about the level of reality above itself (should it be programmed with a level of artificial intelligence that allowed for such abstract thought).
I would like to think of myself as a benevolent creator. Yet, when I look at the history of my writings, I have written some less than benevolent stories that did not have happy endings, some stories that never ended and that never got finished, some horrible villains and some dreadful circumstances. It is not inconceivable that in some frame of reality these characters exist in a way that allows them freedom of thought along and within the trajectory of the plots I have written for them, incapable as they are of altering their destinies. And I wonder, do they cry out asking why I have allowed their circumstances to occur?
This is my food for thought while I eat Lucky Charms in the middle of the night and get ready to go back to bed. I must have the courage to create my characters and write their plots and tell my stories and let my dramas unfold. It's my responsibility to make the drama and the villains and build the triumphs and prod the hero to success.
Oh but I want to be benevolent. And I wonder, does God have this dilemma?