It wasn’t my choice to be born. In fact I had no say in the matter. But in a sense I’m glad that I was. Because no matter what other people think of the state of the world, as far as I am concerned it is an exciting place to be.

Yes, there is much doom and gloom, there is hatred and wars, and many people appear to be wandering aimlessly, yet I find life full of meaning and purpose. Indeed even in a world full of misery and pain, for me, the world is a wonderful place.

Despite that I can’t help thinking of all the infinite possibilities that could have prevented my birth. After all, my parents could easily have never met; they could have married other people; or the time of my conception could have been different. And in each of those scenarios I would never have been born.

So was it coincidence that I came into existence? Or was it God?

Well over the years I’ve considered both of those possibilities. At times I have dismissed any idea of a plan, or even the idea that there was someone or something behind creation. But even though in my younger days, at times, my theology may have been a bit shaky, for most of my life I have had few doubts about the existence of a creator.

Of course, Sunday School helped. So too did Jucos (Junior Covenanters), the church choir, and the church youth group. At times their value, for me, may have been questionable, but nevertheless they did (theoretically) provide a constant reminder of God.

Now complicating all this further, is that I was not planned. Indeed as my mother had already given birth to three children, having a fourth was the last thing on my parents’ minds. So having already had their family, my mother went to some pains to avoid a fourth pregnancy—she adopted a new contraceptive device. And yet six months after the birth of her third child, I was conceived; I was on my way.

Now mathematics has always been my strong point. It is what I excelled at at school. But even I cannot begin to calculate the odds of being conceived under such circumstances. So if the world just evolves, and things happen at random, what are the odds of me, being conceived at a particular time? More than I can possibly imagine.

So do I believe that I came about by random? No! Do I believe that a creator was somehow involved? Yes. But accepting that opens up a whole new series of questions about my conception and birth. Such as “Why me?”, “Why am I so special to God?”, and “What did God have in mind when he chose me to be part of his creation?”

Of course, these are not simple questions; they are certainly not ones that I could have resolved in my mother’s womb. And yet the Judaeo-Christian tradition is that from conception—even before conception—God knew me. Even in the womb he considered me special. And that is something I don’t think I will ever really understand—well not in this lifetime. Indeed I will probably need to wait until Judgement Day to really know why.

So there I was in my mother’s womb, despite the deliberate act of my parents to prevent me from being born—but at the same time, intimately known by my creator. And at least some of the consequences of my conception wouldn’t have taken long to be realised.

To be continued …

Posted: 12th June 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis

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