So, God …
If you are not depending on me to save the world,
If I am not the one who must uphold your honor,
If I am not the one who must proclaim what is true,
If I am not the one who will make all things right,
What good am I?
Funny how it seems I either think that I am God,
Or presume that I must do the work of Jesus.
Either I must tell you how to make (or fix) the world,
Or I must save it.
On second thought, it is not really so funny.
At best it is sad and delusional,
And sets me up for utter failure.
At worst … well …
Jesus, himself, says, ‘No one is good but God.’
Perhaps this is not a differentiation
On a scale of goodness.
(God is good. You are not.)
Perhaps it points to a difference in role.
In fact, all the stories in Luke 18
Might be read as a suggestion of this difference.
The unjust judge grants the woman’s pleas just to stop her pestering.
It is the tax collector, not the Pharisee whose prayer does its work.
It is in becoming like a little child that you enter the kingdom.
The rich young ruler, who has fully obeyed the law, is unwilling to give up his money, his power, and simply follow and rely on God.
Jesus tells the apostles of his coming crucifixion, which they cannot understand.
The blind man begs for sight, and though they try to quiet him, he continues to beg and is blessed.
None of these stories make sense when measured in terms of ‘goodness’ and ‘deserving.’
I must admit that, at first, I was not sure I liked this arrangement.
If it were about deserving, and if I were good enough, I could demand certain actions from God.
Then, after sixty-some years of trying to be good enough, I am slowly recognizing that there really is a better way.
So … What good am I?
Not good enough.
Good thing that’s not what matters.
That’s not even the right question.
When I’m reaching for assurance,
I don’t have to depend on me.
[photo by Valerie Everett per cc 2.0]