Providence does not mean that God has decided all things for us and in advance. God loves us too much to do that, for that would be nothing short of cosmic tyranny. Man does have relative powers of choice. Neither is the divine love that shortsighted affection which would pamper and spoil the children of men.
The Father, Son, and Spirit—as the Trinity—are not the Almighty Supreme, but the supremacy of the Almighty can never be manifest without them. The growth of the Almighty is centered on the Absolutes of actuality and predicated on the Absolutes of potentiality. But the functions of the Almighty Supreme are related to the functions of the Paradise Trinity.
It would appear that, in the Supreme Being, all phases of universe activity are being partially reunited by the personality of this experiential Deity. When, therefore, we desire to view the Trinity as one God, and if we limit this concept to the present known and organized grand universe, we discover that the evolving Supreme Being is the partial portraiture of the Paradise Trinity. And we further find that this Supreme Deity is evolving as the personality synthesis of finite matter, mind, and spirit in the grand universe.
The Gods have attributes but the Trinity has functions, and like the Trinity, providence is a function, the composite of the other-than-personal overcontrol of the universe of universes, extending from the evolutionary levels of the Sevenfold synthesizing in the power of the Almighty on up through the transcendental realms of the Ultimacy of Deity.
God loves each creature as a child, and that love overshadows each creature throughout all time and eternity. Providence functions with regard to the total and deals with the function of any creature as such function is related to the total. Providential intervention with regard to any being is indicative of the importance of the function of that being as concerns the evolutionary growth of some total; such total may be the total race, the total nation, the total planet, or even a higher total. It is the importance of the function of the creature that occasions providential intervention, not the importance of the creature as a person.
Nevertheless, the Father as a person may at any time interpose a fatherly hand in the stream of cosmic events all in accordance with the will of God and in consonance with the wisdom of God and as motivated by the love of God.
But what man calls providence is all too often the product of his own imagination, the fortuitous juxtaposition of the circumstances of chance. There is, however, a real and emerging providence in the finite realm of universe existence, a true and actualizing correlation of the energies of space, the motions of time, the thoughts of intellect, the ideals of character, the desires of spiritual natures, and the purposive volitional acts of evolving personalities. The circumstances of the material realms find final finite integration in the interlocking presences of the Supreme and the Ultimate.
As the mechanisms of the grand universe are perfected to a point of final precision through the overcontrol of mind, and as creature mind ascends to the perfection of divinity attainment through perfected integration with spirit, and as the Supreme consequently emerges as an actual unifier of all these universe phenomena, so does providence become increasingly discernible.
Some of the amazingly fortuitous conditions occasionally prevailing on the evolutionary worlds may be due to the gradually emerging presence of the Supreme, the foretasting of his future universe activities. Most of what a mortal would call providential is not; his judgment of such matters is very handicapped by lack of farsighted vision into the true meanings of the circumstances of life. Much of what a mortal would call good luck might really be bad luck; the smile of fortune that bestows unearned leisure and undeserved wealth may be the greatest of human afflictions; the apparent cruelty of a perverse fate that heaps tribulation upon some suffering mortal may in reality be the tempering fire that is transmuting the soft iron of immature personality into the tempered steel of real character.
There is a providence in the evolving universes, and it can be discovered by creatures to just the extent that they have attained capacity to perceive the purpose of the evolving universes. Complete capacity to discern universe purposes equals the evolutionary completion of the creature and may otherwise be expressed as the attainment of the Supreme within the limits of the present state of the incomplete universes.
The love of the Father operates directly in the heart of the individual, independent of the actions or reactions of all other individuals; the relationship is personal—man and God. The impersonal presence of Deity (Almighty Supreme and Paradise Trinity) manifests regard for the whole, not for the part. The providence of the overcontrol of Supremacy becomes increasingly apparent as the successive parts of the universe progress in the attainment of finite destinies. As the systems, constellations, universes, and superuniverses become settled in light and life, the Supreme increasingly emerges as the meaningful correlator of all that is transpiring, while the Ultimate gradually emerges as the transcendental unifier of all things.
In the beginnings on an evolutionary world the natural occurrences of the material order and the personal desires of human beings often appear to be antagonistic. Much that takes place on an evolving world is rather hard for mortal man to understand—natural law is so often apparently cruel, heartless, and indifferent to all that is true, beautiful, and good in human comprehension. But as humanity progresses in planetary development, we observe that this viewpoint is modified by the following factors:
1. Man’s augmenting vision—his increased understanding of the world in which he lives; his enlarging capacity for the comprehension of the material facts of time, the meaningful ideas of thought, and the valuable ideals of spiritual insight. As long as men measure only by the yardstick of the things of a physical nature, they can never hope to find unity in time and space.
2. Man’s increasing control—the gradual accumulation of the knowledge of the laws of the material world, the purposes of spiritual existence, and the possibilities of the philosophic co-ordination of these two realities. Man, the savage, was helpless before the onslaughts of natural forces, was slavish before the cruel mastery of his own inner fears. Semicivilized man is beginning to unlock the storehouse of the secrets of the natural realms, and his science is slowly but effectively destroying his superstitions while at the same time providing a new and enlarged factual basis for the comprehension of the meanings of philosophy and the values of true spiritual experience. Man, the civilized, will someday achieve relative mastery of the physical forces of his planet; the love of God in his heart will be effectively outpoured as love for his fellow men, while the values of human existence will be nearing the limits of mortal capacity.
3. Man’s universe integration—the increase of human insight plus the increase of human experiential achievement brings him into closer harmony with the unifying presences of Supremacy—Paradise Trinity and Supreme Being. And this is what establishes the sovereignty of the Supreme on the worlds long settled in light and life. Such advanced planets are indeed poems of harmony, pictures of the beauty of achieved goodness attained through the pursuit of cosmic truth. And if such things can happen to a planet, then even greater things can happen to a system and the larger units of the grand universe as they too achieve a settledness indicating the exhaustion of the potentials for finite growth.
On a planet of this advanced order, providence has become an actuality, the circumstances of life are correlated, but this is not only because man has come to dominate the material problems of his world; it is also because he has begun to live according to the trend of the universes; he is following the pathway of Supremacy to the attainment of the Universal Father.
The kingdom of God is in the hearts of men, and when this kingdom becomes actual in the heart of every individual on a world, then God’s rule has become actual on that planet; and this is the attained sovereignty of the Supreme Being.
To realize providence in time, man must accomplish the task of achieving perfection. But man can even now foretaste this providence in its eternity meanings as he ponders the universe fact that all things, be they good or evil, work together for the advancement of God-knowing mortals in their quest for the Father of all.
Providence becomes increasingly discernible as men reach upward from the material to the spiritual. The attainment of completed spiritual insight enables the ascending personality to detect harmony in what was theretofore chaos. Even morontia mota represents a real advance in this direction.
Providence is in part the overcontrol of the incomplete Supreme manifested in the incomplete universes, and it must therefore ever be:
1. Partial—due to the incompleteness of the actualization of the Supreme Being, and
2. Unpredictable—due to the fluctuations in creature attitude, which ever varies from level to level, thus causing apparently variable reciprocal response in the Supreme.
When men pray for providential intervention in the circumstances of life, many times the answer to their prayer is their own changed attitudes toward life. But providence is not whimsical, neither is it fantastic nor magical. It is the slow and sure emergence of the mighty sovereign of the finite universes, whose majestic presence the evolving creatures occasionally detect in their universe progressions. Providence is the sure and certain march of the galaxies of space and the personalities of time toward the goals of eternity, first in the Supreme, then in the Ultimate, and perhaps in the Absolute. And in infinity we believe there is the same providence, and this is the will, the actions, the purpose of the Paradise Trinity thus motivating the cosmic panorama of universes upon universes.
[Sponsored by a Mighty Messenger temporarily sojourning on Urantia.]