Are we at the end or the beginning of God’s creative process?
The Big Questions (Templeton)
Whether we stand at the beginning or the end of God’s creative process is very much up to us, because we are co-authors of the script. You know, there is a mistake that people make: they confuse a prophecy and a prediction. They are both ways of speaking about the future, but they are very different ways of speaking about the future. If a prediction comes true, it has succeeded. If a prophecy comes true, it has failed. If Jeremiah is right in saying that Jerusalem is about to be destroyed, his prophecy has failed. Because a prophet warns; he tells us what will happen unless we respond to the challenge of our time.
Right now the world is full of predictions, but we don’t have enough prophecy. A prophet is a person who, in the deepest night of dark despair, sees the first glimmer of hope and leads us towards it. And I think religion today, in the 21st century, has to speak to young people by giving us a vision of the future.
Just look at the extraordinary powers that we have developed in medical technology, in reducing infant mortality, extending life expectancy. Look at these extraordinary powers we have had in increasing our capacity to create wealth, or decode the human genome, or chart the birth of galaxies, and even, now, detect waves in the gravitational field. The question is, will we use this for good or, God forbid, for harm?
Every single new power that we have comes with a call from Heaven saying, use this to enhance life and not, God forbid, to destroy it. Use it to increase our humility rather than the arrogance of power. Use it to share blessings more widely so that everyone, every single human being, feels that he or she has dignity.
So right now I think the future is calling to us. God’s voice, actually, is a call from the future: Walk towards Me, and I will walk towards you.