Friday, June 08, 2007

God Is Not The President

I realized that a few months before my conversion.

Raindrops slid down the window, in a haphazard journey to the windowsill, as I contemplated The Meaning Of Life one day. It was cold and grey outside. I don't remember what was churning in my thoughts as that insight swept over me, but I remember it with great clarity.

Insights like these peppered the months before I came to Christ. They were laying the ground-work for the beginning of my faith. Startling moments of unbidden perception would break into my mind at the strangest moments. Looking back, I can pick them out, bright sunflowers in fields of grass, popping up above the green, shouting, "Look over here! Notice me!"

It seems self-evident now. Of course God is not the president. We didn't get to install Him in the Heavenlies with a two-thirds vote, or even an electoral vote of 270. He just was. And is. And is to come.

And yet, I'm not sure that Americans apprehend this concept. Perhaps it's our rebellious, democratic nature. We have created a nation built on the principles of self-reliance, self-determination, and the pursuit of happiness. Making our image of God into a Sovereign King rubs us against the grain, bringing back visions of tea floating in the Boston Harbor, steeping in cold sea-water. We'd rather obliterate His rule over us by tossing our cargo away, than give him one penny of "taxation without representation." Never mind that we have a very good representative, that's for another post.

Much fist-shaking and shouting at the heavens is rooted in our spirits, scandalized by a lack of inclusion in the planning process. God can do as He pleases and we, poor saps that we are, have no recourse. He gets to do what He wants and we have to go along one way or the other.


Rebelling against such a repugnant idea, says less about God and more about us. First, it lays bare our fear of God's control of the Universe. We don't want to lack control, because then we are helpless to defend ourselves. Bad things might happen--the secret worry of everyone. Second, it implies that we would make much better choices than this Creator who's always butting into our business. He expects too much of us and makes unreasonable demands upon us, like some crazy, tyrant king sending his subject on a quest for some rose, that only blooms at midnight, on the sixth day of spring, at the top of a treacherous mountain in some distant land, 2,000 miles away. Third, it reveals our fear of being unimportant. If God doesn't need or want my input, then I must be like a fly buzzing about His head; small, irrelevant, and slightly annoying.

Not exactly.

Accepting God as Supreme Ruler, and not as Guy-Who-Least-Irritated-Us-And-Got-Our-Vote, aka The President, is not the fearful prospect it might seem. It hinges on the simple but profound acknowledgement of God's goodness, His unchanging nature of purity. It is a necessary component of our faith; one that impacts us in every aspect of our spiritual life.

to be continued tomorrow

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