by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
Questions on the Infinite:
We are told that no one can change his past. But, if, as you say, G-d is infinite, couldn't He make it so we could change our past? And wouldn't it be better if everyone could design their own 'World to Come' instead of each of us only just sitting in G-d's Presence wearing crowns on our heads?
Both of these questions really have the same answer.
G-d makes things so we can get the best out of life. But this comes only according to our effort. At first He made angels. But angels are rather boring. They do exactly as they are told. Sort of like spiritual machines. They do not have free will so they cannot earn rewards. We, on the other hand, do have free will, so we can determine our futures.
It is true that we cannot change the past. But we can change the results of the past. When we return to the ways of righteousness, not only out of lower-level fear, but with higher-level love, our past transgressions actually turn into merit.
Lower-level fear comes when we are afraid that someone or something is going to hurt us. Repenting at this level of fear is still at a very low, even selfish level.
Repenting with higher love means that we turn from our transgressions because we love G-d with all our hearts and we do not want to do anything that He does not like. While lower-level love says, "I love you. I want you to be mine." Higher-level love says, "I love you. What can I do to make you happy?" When we repent with this love our world turns upside down and the holes that our sins dug turn around and become mountains that we stand on.
As for an individually designed "World to Come," the analogy of us sitting with crowns on our heads is not as passive as you think. Those crowns mean that we are enjoying the revealed holiness of Hashem's presence in our "heads." That will be our experience. There can be no greater joy, not in this world, nor in the next. If man would be free to design his own World to Come, he would end up trying to get the same things in Heaven that he tried to find while he was here on Earth.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא