Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 3:54 am | Mostly Cloudy 51º

 
 
 
 
Faith

D.C. Collier: Why You Don’t Want to Be God

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be God — setting aside for the moment the inconvenient fact that the job has already been taken by an infinitely more qualified candidate.

Trouble is, most of us live as though we are god. We deny God (the one with the big “G”), ignore Him, resist Him and ask Him to go away, leaving us to be god (the one with the little “g”) of our own tiny universe, and our “universe” doesn’t amount to much.

Being god is a big job! No wonder we’re drugging, drinking and distracting ourselves into fleeting fantasies of denial and delusion. We’ve appointed ourselves divine ruler, but don’t have the résumé for the job.

How has it been working for you lately? I often challenge men in the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission addiction recovery program with the question, “if running your own life, according to your best thinking, has landed you in an addiction, don’t you think it’s time for a paradigm shift?”

Did you know that “control” is an illusion? After living 70-plus years on this earth, I can testify that I control NOTHING. My best laid plans can suddenly be obliterated by a natural disaster, illness, car accident or job loss.

There is, however, another way of viewing your life and capturing the magic of childhood in the process.

The Last Time I Felt Truly Peaceful

Do you have a “happy place” to go in your mind when things around you seem to be falling apart? I do. When I was 5 or 6 years old, my parents went through a period of serious marital trauma, and my grandfather often stepped in to take me away from it all.

Charlie (I called him “Choo-Choo”) was a retired tough-as-nails Irish construction boss with a heart of gold. He and my grandmother lived in the peaceful, scenic village of Willoughby, Ohio, in a grand old home that smelled of wood paneling, baked bread and preserves in the cellar. Every time I visited, Choo-Choo would scoop me up, pile me in his big cushy Buick (which smelled alternately of cigar smoke and chewing tobacco) and off we’d go on his “rounds.”

First, it was down to the coal yard to hang out with his buddies while they worked, then off to the German Deli for a Braunschweiger sandwich where everyone knew Charlie, and from there to the airport to look at planes up-close, then on to various buddy’s homes or garages, and finally to the best stop of all.

Willoughby was a major railroad staging area with the most exciting array of steam engines on the planet. And right in the middle of the action, Conner’s Bar served to lubricate the locals while the railroad engineers lubricated the gears of their engines.

Grandpa would set me up on the bar, give me a large handful of pistachios and a cold Coke, and hold court with everyone coming and going in the place for hours. You can’t believe the stories I heard and the language I learned, especially from the railroad workers coming off shift and smelling of gear oil and coal dust.

I was invited to join a party in process, a story bigger than me, and all I had to do was ride along, listen, learn and be immersed in Choo-Choo’s gregarious and expansive life. I didn’t have to be responsible for anything, entertain anyone or worry about who was going to pay the bills.

The adults were in charge and I wasn’t “the point” at all. I could relax, stay out of the limelight and be a kid. For a 5-year-old, this was heaven, I tell ya.

Now, calm down, my well-meaning but over-reactive helicopter parent/reader. It’s OK. There was a time when the world really was a safer place. Back then, people didn’t live in fear of a child molester lurking behind every bush, or of mortal dangers beckoning from everywhere but a fiercely protected home-school living room in the suburbs. We were encouraged to roam and lived to tell about it.

Getting Back to Basics

Jesus once said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.”1

I wonder if we have a clue what he was talking about.

One of the many charms of a well-adjusted child is his openness, vulnerability and trusting dependence upon others. A child instinctively goes about playing and learning, leaving the big picture to the adults.

But then come the terrible two’s when individuation takes hold and parents go from being loving protectors in the child’s mind to pesky nuisances, cramping his style. That’s when the first inklings of godhood begin to twinkle, and the role reversal begins — it happened to Adam and Eve and we’ve inherited that same predisposition.

This is the source of mankind’s incessant restlessness, anxiety and despair. Blaise Pascal said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” We simply refuse to let God be God, and take our proper place on His lap, where alone there is safety.

How About You?

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Longing for peace? Tired of being in charge? You will need to make a big paradigm shift in your thinking, one that involves a principle not encouraged in today’s “every man for himself,” self-reliant, take-charge culture.

It starts with surrendering the “throne of your life” and acknowledging that you are not “captain of your soul” after all.

D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

1. Matthew 18:2-5 The Message (MSG)

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