Anyone who has read any of my comments in this forum knows that I am not a fundamentalist and that I reject any notion of scriptural inerrancy.
That said, I take quite literally the claim that humans are created in god’s image, the implication being that even though each of us is fantastically small, we are still reasonable replicas of our creator. And since this also seems to have been verified by many different scientific observations, (e.g., each of us originated from something as small as a desire or minute as a physical urge and grew exponentially from there), all one need do in order to understand his maker is to consider one’s own life circumstances and patterns.
Thus, I know that god is not eternal and that he did not have a preordained plan for the universe. This because I had a beginning and undoubtedly will arrive at an end point, just as I know that I was not born with-and still do not have-a precise prospectus for my future.
I also don’t possess infinite knowledge and instead have had to acquire whatever understanding of things that I do have as a part of growing up. So it is reasonable to deduce that god didn’t always know what he knows now and instead believe that his or it’s mind is evolving and developing just as do most humans.
Further, while I have the power to control many aspects of my like, I have absolutely no say in others areas, from which self-knowledge I extrapolate that our creator is decidedly less than omnipotent and that he, like every other human, can’t fix some problems while also being continually fascinated by the things we can and are learning to improve simply by “following the science”.
I could go on (and have elsewhere!) as the ramifications probably are eternal but I’ll stop for now, as I would like to address Melanie’s predicament.
A few years ago, my wife and I boarded a tour bus for a drive along the Amafli Coast. (I’d never want to make the drive myself, as the treachery of navigating the traffic, pedestrians and narrow roads would have negated any chance of my absorbing the indescribable beauty of the place!)
However, as delightful as were the surroundings, we ultimately found that our the tour guide was one of the most memorable and enjoyable parts of the trip as she was not only well versed in the scenery and history of the place but she had a biting sense of humor.
(One blissfully unaware pedestrian who walked in front of the bus was better off not knowing that she-I think sarcastically?!?!-encouraged the driver to “Just keel ‘im Umberto!!!”)
And as I think that experience might have related to Melanie, our Italian narrator had a novel way of dealing with the fact that while she routinely saw and talked about mansions, yachts and cars affordable only by the mega wealthy, she herself drove an unreliable Fiat and lived in a small apartment in Naples.
Luckily, her grandmother had provided her a coping mechanism.which involved looking at those big houses critically and trying to find something she wouldn’t like, such as “Who would want to wash all those windows” or “Think of how hard it must be to paint,” thus convincing herself “I wouldn’t want that,
Similarly, big yachts were either too blindingly white and light-filled, unimaginatively black and overly dramatic or they didn’t provide a place to drive one’s expensive car.
Conversely, driving a car capable of incredible acceleration and high speeds on roads limited to 30 or 40 mph would not only seem boring and wasteful but would also subtract from the time available for sailing on one’s yacht or sleeping in a most sumptuous bed.
The point being, and as.any parent knows, having a baby and raising kids comes with many significant downsides and even non-parents learn that there is no such thing as something that is easier said than done! My mom wanted and had five children but I’m sure she would have told Melanie that all five of us found different ways to cost her money, cause her concern and/ or break her heart.
So while I understand this may not have been any consolation coming from a man or from a fictional TV character, my basic point is, and paraphrasing Mr. Spock, “Sometimes wanting is better than having.”
The old adage “Be careful what you wish for,” also comes to mind….