Pause for thought: The Lord he is God and I am not
The Lord He is God and I am not. I’ve been talking about this a lot recently. The damage we do to ourselves when we try and be God. But for this article, I want to focus on just one aspect of our messiah complex, the tendency to behave as if we are powerful! You see God is all powerful and I am not! But the temptation to act as if I am.
I am Christian, the sun always shines on me, I have a permanent coat hanger smile, I’m always well, never down, never miserable, never doubt and if you turned the lights off I would glow in the dark!
What nonsense. God is all powerful, you and I are weak, broken, fragile humanity. And the sooner we acknowledge that the better and healthier we will be. The apostle Paul reminds us that it is in our weakness that we are strong. And acknowledging that moves us to that place where we become … well real!
‘Real’ is so important. Maybe if I explain a little more with help of a conversation with a Velveteen Rabbit from Margery William’s wonderful book of the same name. It’s a conversation between the Rabbit and the older and wiser Skin Horse.
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse, “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “But when you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of my favourite 20th centuries most famous Philosophers. He wrote these words,
"Above all else, remember that you are not a machine, you are a work of art".
So let’s give up on trying be all powerful machines and recognise we are real and we are works of art.
Revd Dr Mark Griffiths JP