I Am Not God
I often write on this site about the similarities I see between the love of God and the love of my family, but tonight I know that I am not God.
I have been working on a stressful project at work and I am running short on patience. Today my daughters have tested my patience more than usual and I had none to give. I spent much of the evening yelling at them for not listening and the rest of the evening sulking. I often say that any situation in a domestic church is an opportunity to grow in our understanding of God, if only we take the time to reflect. Could God even use this night when I lost my patience?
My high school prayer teacher taught about images of God. He taught us that when we use a human experience like fatherhood to understand God, we must take all of the positive parts of the human experience and none of the negative parts. So if God is like a human father it means he as all of the best aspects of human fathers and none of the worst aspects. If God lacks all of my imperfections, then I can be confident that God does not lose his patience like I do.
This weekend our young adult group watched Bishop Barron's Pivotal Players episode about GK Chesterton and he recited a quote from Chesterton's Everlasting Man: "God is God, as the Muslims say; but a great man knows he is not God, and the greater he is the better he knows it." When I consider my own imperfections, I am given an opportunity to become a greater man because I am more deeply aware that I am not God and that God is God.
When we face our own imperfections, a fruitful response is to reflect on how God lacks those imperfections. While I am inpatient and I may lose my temper, God is patient, kind, and merciful. The more impatient I am, the more I grasp the immensity of God's patience. When I am most imperfect, I can grow in awe of God's perfection. I think of the times I've gone to confession to list my sins. I've been selfish, again. I've given into lust, again. I've been judgemental, again. I wonder if God thinks I'm recycling my confession from last Lent. While such repetitive shortcomings might cause me to lose my temper, our God who forgives seventy times seven times absolves me of my sins yet again.
The more I realize I am not God, the more I realize God is God - and a wonderful God he is! Then I turn to God in prayer and ask him to make me more like him.