Go away, God

Today’s oh-so-famous Gospel ends with some incisive words:

And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Isn’t that so true?  Especially that last line.  It reminded me of an elder-priest/philosophy professor I knew at Mount St Mary’s Seminary in 1989 who once made a many-a-truth-is-spoke-in-jest comment to me:  “Whenever a parent comes crying to me about their college student’s sudden loss of faith, and begs that I speak some sense into them, the first thing I ask their son or daughter is this: ‘Well, who are you sleeping with?'”

In other words, the rejection of the existence of God is often first a rejection of the moral will of God.  Easier to wish God away than to bear the tragic burden of having rejected Him.  Adam and Eve ‘got this’ when they hid from God in the Garden, and the conspirators in the Passion of Christ ‘got this’ when they did away with the Son of God.

When one of my sons was very tiny, he was playing an old hand-me-down game of Perfection.  I remember watching him in his steamy frustration as he tried to fit the Star into the X.  I was quietly waiting for him to look toward me to get some help, but after a minute or so, he finally flipped the whole game over and moved on to another toy.  Good news – he went back later after he calmed down and re-gained his toddler reason, and with my gentle encouragement he achieved perfection and mastered the game.

So next time you find yourself at odds with God for any reason, turn and look at his kindly countenance.  He’s really good at Perfection. . .

6 comments on “Go away, God

  1. beads2rosaries says:

    Who do we sleep with? This may immediately summon images of inappropriate sexual relationships; however, the question can be answered with an activity which causes unfaithfulness. Is our most intimate relationship with greed, gluttony, pride or perhaps an addiction we think is a secret known and held within our hearts? Falsely we convince ourselves that we have “control” over the surrounding darkness and while we maintain the illusion of control – the darkness can be attractive and pleasurable. God stands in the way of our evil “good time” and we push him away.

    Christ has come to reveal our darkness by shining his Light into the world from the Cross. By exposing his perfection through the worldly shame of crucifixion, we can know in our darkest corner that God entered. In the darkness, whose pleasure is fleeting, the Light cracks our armor of control. We are not to be abandon to this darkness; Jesus was here and has the way out. We don’t leave for nothing – we leave for Perfection. Even with a feeble attempt/desire to exit the darkness awareness comes to us in one of the foundational promises of the 12 step process – We realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

    Thanks be to God!

  2. whimsy says:

    It works better with teens, but I like to ask students to tell me the “Prayer of Adam.” when I’m feeling cheeky, I’ll direct the question to a youth group leader, to put him on the spot. when nobody can answer, I say, “that’s because there is no prayer of Adam! He relied on his own wits and strength when confronted by the serpent, and his pride let both himself and his wife down. when confronted with temptation, pray!”

  3. whimsy says:

    Well, now that I look at it in print, maybe that ending sounds a little trite. But, I do think kids find Genesis intriguing, if for no other reason than its controversy, and I hope the little vignette helps makes a connection to the events in Scripture and the events in our own lives.

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