In the Bible, God tells Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (2 Chronicles 1).
It’s a good thing God hasn’t asked me that question yet because I know what I would ask for.
And not in a “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) sort of way either.
I want to be over the top successful at literally everything I do. This success is measured by my own standards: a set of eyes which sees myself as, I don’t know, the next CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Whenever I make mistakes that don’t match how I assume these types of people behave, it’s devastating. I know it seems like I’m being overly dramatic, but I truly feel disappointed in myself for shortcomings that aren’t even a big deal.
I guess this is what idolatry comes down to- impressing a certain image upon myself and not accepting the image of God as the root of my identity.
Every Friday morning, I volunteer in a kindergarten class at a local elementary school to help kids practice their reading. There is always one child who is “the problem.” The teacher (and the assistant assigned to work with “the problem”) separate him from the rest of the class because he is a disruption and incapable of doing the same work. Perhaps this is a distorted way of thinking, but if I’m being honest, this is sometimes how I think God sees me.
The one who is unlike the other children and needs special attention because they can’t keep up.
Another way to think of this concept is Pinterest fails. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some examples:
Recently, one of my best friends asked me what Christianity means to me, and I said it is survival. Admitting this felt slightly heretical or rebellious (an effect I did not intend), but it makes sense because Christianity IS the only key to surviving the meaninglessness created by this self-destructive world.
Is everything meaningless, as the writer of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, says? If a Christian said that to their Bible study group, I can imagine some major judgement and condemnation thrown their way. How dare you suggest there is no reason to live! Or are you saying our faith is meaningless as well?! Yet, Solomon is right. (I mean, he received wisdom from God, remember?) A world of conflicting ideas, wavering promises, and short-lived joys adds up to emptiness.
And I guess when you live in a world where everything is meaningless, the only thing that becomes meaningful is what keeps you alive.
Christianity is that for me.
God is the source of life itself, the reason to get up in the morning, the explanation for why ideas and work have purpose, and the person who does not see me as “the problem.” If it’s true that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), then I would say God is necessary to our survival.
And when survival is the goal, there’s no time to worry about being perfect.