Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Only Difference...

Imagine that we were all given the powers of gods. Imagine that we had the power to have anything that we ever wanted, all our needs were taken care of, our hunger, our sexual needs, our housing, our pleasure, everything.

What else would there be to do?

But just having the power of a god doesn't make us any more divine. What is the difference between Superman and Darkseid (or insert your favourite super-villain here).

It isn't the powers.

Superman isn't superman just because of his powers. He's superman because of what he stands for and what he does.

If we did have the power of gods and everyone around us had the same powers, there would be nothing left to do. We would have all the knowledge, all the power, but then we would live in our own worlds, we could create our own fantasies to live in, locking ourselves from others. Nobody could harm us. And we could never harm anyone else.

That's why love is the thing that remains. Love breaks us from our own world. Love gets us in touch with another sentient being.

So therefore, the only thing that makes me different at each moment is whether I do it in love. Love allows us to take part in the divine nature. If we were all gods, how then could we show love to one another? Perhaps then the gift of humanity is it's incompleteness. That we all have needs. Once we meet someone else with needs, we can show our love for them, and they for us in our own needs.

If there were no needs in our life, no one could show us love. And if there were no needs in others, we would have no one else to show love to.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's All or Nothing

I've always known that it's either all or nothing for God. We give him everything in our lives to him or not. We can't hand over 99% of our lives to him and keep 1% of our lives for our own pleasure.

But a revelation just struck me.

God is interested in 100% of our lives too.

He isn't just interested in whether we pray or give tithes and offerings or in singing hymns or songs or being theologically right or whether we have been evangelising.

We assume then that God is only interested in the spiritual part of our lives.

God is interested in 100% of our lives. Unlike other mortals, He can give us 100% attention 100% of the time.

He's interested in our physical lives, whether we eat, sleep, and have a good sex life.

He's interested in our work, our hobbies, our enjoyment.

He's interested in everything we do too. Whether brushing our teeth, or putting on our shoe, or taking the lift, or riding the escalator. Even the most insignificant moments of our lives that we think are unimportant to him he is giving us 100% attention. He actually enjoys it when we are playing games on our Xbox 360 too! When we crack a joke, whether it is to an audience of one or even no-one when we do it only in our minds or in the mirror, he's laughing at it too! And he enjoys the joke! When we sing in the shower, he's enjoying our singing too. When we sweep the floor, or clear the dishes, he appreciates it.

This idea bears more thinking...

He's there when we choose between the red or the blue shirt. (Whether it has any eternal consequences, that's entirely another matter, and you know, perhaps it does, that red shirt may save your life.) But right at that moment in time, that point in eternity if there is nothing else that matters, then he is interested in our choice. We can actually ask Him, if we are troubled, whether He would prefer the red or the blue and whether we look fat in it.

God is interested when we gain 2 kilograms of weight.

He's even there when we clean our belly button lint.

Because there cannot be any other alternative. God cannot be interested in 80%, or 99% of our lives. Either God is not interested at all or God is interested in 100% of our lives.

God isn't just interested in whether we work hard and respect our boss. He's also interested in whether our boss respects us and deals fairly with us. (The reason why a lot of teaching focuses on our attitudes and what we do, is because our locus of control is only us, not the other person, but God is concerned just as much about the other person and he can do something about it.)

God isn't just interested in whether we respect our parents, he's also interested in whether our parents love us and respect us too.

God isn't just interested in whether we love others, but also in whether other people love us as well.

When I get shafted by others, he's interested in me and my reaction as well as the people doing the shafting.

When I win, he's celebrating with me as well as being sympathising for the losers. And when I lose, he's also supporting me and celebrating with the winner.

In a race, he wants everyone of us to race to win. Life isn't a zero sum game for God.

It's a mystery at work. I've been thinking about God's silence during suffering that we don't understand. But if we write it off that "God is interested in more important things". Then taken to the extreme, we become deists. If we say to ourselves, "God has better things to do than to bother with me", we start to believe then that God created the world then forgot about it. Why? Because the world, no, the universe is so insignificant when compared to God. Surely God has better things to do than to bother with the universe.

(Of course, the other extreme is when we are narcissistic and believe that God is only interested in us.)

God is interested in us 100% of the time, 100% of our lives. (The problem is we don't know how or in which way at times. But I know that he accepts us, warts and all.)