Friday, April 3, 2009

Is God a Workaholic?

To listen to some folks, God clearly was made in the image of the American Workaholic (Workaholic americansus). A real busy body with not a moment for silent stillness. For openers, there is all that creation business. Just think of it – every single creature and critter made by the Almighty in only a few days. And that is just here on Earth. You also have to add in all the stars and planets, including those we can’t see and don’t know about. They probably have creatures and critters too. It is exhausting just thinking about it. And it only gets worse.

According to the story, once God got the show on the road he has been tending to all the details every day, ever since. A Micro-manager for sure -- and a real back breaker!

God alone knows how many ants, aphids, aardvarks, armadillos – to say nothing of bears, bees, bottle flies, and booby birds there are. And each one of them, along with everything else, is treated to the Divine Attention. And of course, we expect our share too. After all God is on our side, or so it says in a lot of places.

Here is where the cookie definitely crumbles. At the moment, there are something like 6.5 billion of us on earth. In the course of any given day each one may find him or her self at odds with their fellows over some issue, significant or trivial. This may be a matter of individual effort or group activity, of short duration or something like the 100 Years War. Adding all of this together and you come out with an astounding number of "sides" – and poor old God has got to be on each of them!

I understand that God is infinite, so presumably he might pull all of this off, were he of a mind to do so. But why on earth would any sensible being want to do such a thing? Along with infinitude, surely God has some sense. Putting yourself in the shoes of God is doubtless a dangerous thing, but if it were me, I would strongly think about retirement, or at the very least, a substantial reduction in duties.

Come to think of it, God might be ahead of us. Maybe he bailed out when we weren’t looking? If so, this could be the genesis of the God is Dead Story. It could also be the source of Santa Claus.

It does sort of fit. Jolly old man with long white flowing beard. . . . God in retirement, or on limited duty – so to speak.

Sounds very much like how a lot of people talk about God. There he is hiding out in an undisclosed location somewhere to the North with just enough to keep him out of trouble, working with his elves on all those presents. But he has definitely cut his duties, eliminating the 24X7 attention to critters large and small. In fact he has got it down to one day, and then only at night when everybody is asleep. Not too shabby with plenty of time to enjoy the silence of eternity, maybe with a good pipe in hand.

Of course it could be that we have had it all wrong from the very beginning. There is another story making the rounds.

Way back yonder when he clapped his hands (The Big Bang), God also established some very simple principles. From that point on – everything has just rolled out, a continuing flow of chaos changing to order, weaving the splendid fabric we call The Creation. No sweat, no strain, and not a micro-manager in sight. Pure simple elegance with an eternity of enjoyment and even time for a nap. Now that is my kind of God.

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