Last week a reporter for the C.B.C. did an anniversary follow-up interview with a man whose wife and 7 children died in a house fire. The first interview focused very quickly on the man's faith in God. After filling in background and getting up to date the interviewer focused again on faith by asking the man how he managed to survive such tragedy. He replied that he continued to believe in God's plan. The following evening 2 authors of letters to the editor said it was reassuring that the man could continue to believe in God's plan after such a loss.

Since the sample letters always represent the majority, I must have been the only one thinking it is so utterly absurd to believe and extremely offensive to hear that a woman and her 7 children died as the result of God's plan. That's an obscene distortion of life which in part allows us to sit by and watch millions of people die of aids and starvation while we are starting to spend multi-billions on gifts for Christmas. Neither these nor any other scenarios of death by unnatural activity can be in God's plan. 

God's plan is life by self-realization, the consequence of reaching out to the limits of our capacities, to others and to God. Though it is the plan, this innate ideal reaction to the void is not entirely compulsory. We can choose to replace it with any measure of the far easier reactions of trying to fill the void or giving up. Contrary to popular belief however, when we choose to follow our plan, God loses control to the extent we choose the easier reactions. The consequence of our plan is our chosen measure of self-destruction that in the extreme is best described as "all hell breaking loose". We can avoid "hell" simply by choosing God's plan. (see poem)