TeacherThere's a legend/parable that has been floating around the Internet for quite some time involving a professor and a piece of chalk. Below I have modified it to suggest a different point than the original (I may have heard the story told this way somewhere, but if so I have long since forgetten where):

The professor stood at the front of the packed auditorium on the first day of class. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out and held up an ordinary piece of chalk. "If any of you believe in God," he said, "stand up!" In the last 10 years, no one had ever stood to meet the professor's challenge, even though there were many God-believers in the audience in each of those 10 years. They feared the professor's intimidating reputation and classroom presence. But on this day, a young man stood up. The professor and the nearly 300 students in the room turned and stared in disbelief. The student calmly walked to the front of the classroom and stood beside the teacher.

Clearly angered, but able to keep himself under control, the professor spoke softly but resolutely. "You are a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet he can't do it." The professor held out the chalk and dropped it. The chalk spun in the air as it fell. It hit the ground, rolled a few feet, and stopped when it bumped into the young student's shoe.

Saying nothing, the student picked up the chalk, studied it for a moment, and then turned to the rapt audience. "Excuse me miss," he said, turning his gaze towards a young girl in the front row, "could you come up to the front for a moment please?" Clearly embarrassed, but intrigued nonetheless, the girl got up and joined the young man at the front of the room. Really starting to lose his patience, the professor exclaimed angrily, "What's going on here!?"

"This will just take a moment, sir." came the reply from the young man. To the young girl, he said "Please hold out this chalk and drop it." Shrugging her shoulders, the young girl accepted the chalk from the young man's hand, held it out in front of her, right in front of the young man, and dropped it. Again it fell to the floor, just as it did before. "What," said the professor, "are you trying to prove here?"

"We've just demonstrated," replied the young man. "that by your logic, I have just proven that I don't exist. I had the ability to catch the chalk and prevent it from hitting the floor. But I chose not to. Your logic is faulty because it assumes that what God can do, He will do. Your demonstration proves only that God is not an impersonal force, and that God is also not some sort of subservient deity that serves our every whim. If God is a personal entity, He could choose to intervene or not, as His own will dictated."

Knowing he'd been beaten at his own game, the professor asked the student to "stop wasting the class's time" and told them to go back to their seats. Not wanting to point out that it was the professor that brought up the subject in the first place, the young man and young lady sat back down. The professor's lecture was somewhat more tentative than usual that day.

I'm not trying to use this story to prove that God exists; it is only meant as a refutation of a supposed argument against God's existence. The moral of the story? If God is a personal entity, although He could do anything (by that I mean anything that is not logically contradictory or against His nature), there is not necessarily anything in our world that He must do. God is not some sort of cosmic puppet; He is the omnipotent creator of the universe. The ultimate decision is our own: we all must choose either to follow or to flee God. Which do you choose today?

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