It is popular amongst many of us mortals to beg our Creator to give us things that we want. We call it prayer but if we are honest with ourselves it might be just as accurate to call it begging. We are begging to be given something that, by our own estimation, we lack the capacity to generate for ourselves. But do we REALLY lack the capacity to bring forth the object of our prayers? Our request presupposes that we do not already have what we are asking for. And my best guess is that this is where God’s politics come into play.
I do not mean to suggest that God is playing games with mankind. But I do think that very often the solutions to our problems are hiding in plain sight. What I believe we are too often lacking is the will or the skill to tap into the resources that we have already been given. History teaches us that humanity has been moved forward by leaps and bounds by the genius of a single individual. A single discovery or breakthrough from just one mind that has been properly developed, supported and encouraged has propelled us from darkness into the light many times before and it can again.
What if the genius that we need to cure cancer or AIDS was deposited by God inside the heart and mind of some little girl in an African village where girls are prohibited from attending school? Or what if the genius idea to convert salt-water into drinking water was inside of some boy in an underfunded American school where he could go unfed if he couldn’t pay for his lunch? Considering the ever narrowing opportunities for social mobility in America, it is fair to assume that any genius that could advance mankind that God happens to plant into a poor child will go untapped because that genius will be unlikely to be recognized and even less likely to be promoted and developed.
And that would be just like God as I understand Him to be: providing us with exactly what we want and need but requiring us to reach for our highest selves and cast aside our lowest instincts in order to recognize and access it. If we are laboring under the fever of racism or sexism, we won’t recognize blessings anywhere we are not predisposed to look for them. If we are indifferent to the struggles of the poor, we will miss our blessings hiding there, too. So while we pray, God may very well just wait on our collective consciousness to elevate above our individualist ideologies and rather than ASK “What Would Jesus Do?” He might be looking for us to DO “What Would Jesus Do?”
The practical way to look at it is to say that the harvest of God’s blessings is being left to spoil in the fields because mankind refuses to recognize it and do the work to bring it in. So instead we just keep begging for the delivery of what is already there. When we fail to provide for our children and develop them, we are blowing our possibilities into the wind. When we fail to look out for each other and love each other, we are creating problems that we have to spend both capital resources and human resources to solve.
We are mired in this asinine political battle over healthcare reform right now because we have a system in our country that was built around profiting for providing help to heal the sick- which as far as I know Jesus did for free. I am not a church goer or bible scholar but I’m pretty sure Jesus did not charge a copay before he laid hands on the blind and crippled. But there are other hot button political and social issues that apply as well. How is it that we can have a city that suffers from a crisis of homelessness and at the same time is burdened with blocks and blocks of deserted, boarded up brick buildings? Evidently we have become so obsessed with ownership and leveraging every resource for personal gain that we are literally squandering solutions without even realizing it. How is it that we can have a county that has food security issues amongst its citizenry, yet public schools and private restaurants alike throw away tons of food that is perfectly suitable for consumption every single day of the week? This is nothing short of tragic and we have become numb to it.
And it is only because we are unfocused on our highest purposes and disconnected from each other. Yet our houses of worship are full of good people on Sunday praying to God to house the homeless and feed the hungry.
Based on the foregoing, it is fairly easy to handicap bets on what political persuasion I believe God would be if He were one of us going into a voting booth on election day.
He’d be supporting individuals and initiatives that were geared toward elevating the good of the masses as opposed to the fortunate few. Of course, being God and all, He knows full well that as soon as we start really looking out for each other and harvesting the blessings he has planted all over the place, our full human potential is going to explode and we will find that we can be even greater than our wildest imagination. So sorry, conservatives, the verdict is in and God is a progressive- loud and proud, baby. But I’m pretty sure He loves you just the same anyway.