The Shaking of the Fist


Even at this mile-marker in my sojourn, I find myself angry at God at times.

Well, not so much angry at Him as angry at the many lies and errors I once believed about Him, lies and errors told to me by men. Some of the men were sincere and well-meaning. Many of them were bloodless eggheads who really don’t believe in anything except a well-constructed syllogism.

This morning I was preparing to rage at Him yet once again when I brought myself up short. Why shake my fist at Him and yell at Him for not being what He never claimed to be in the first place?

I was taught early and regularly that He is 100%, completely, fully sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresence, omniscient. I remember reading a Puritan’s writings in which the author claimed that even the path of the dust mote in a sunbeam is decreed by God. This gave me some thin, abstract comfort back then, but after years of thinking about it, I realized that if He really is all-knowing in the way that many Christians teach, then the fashionable college atheists must be right: He is a sadistic monster. He programmed a creation with no free will and yet holds the creation accountable for things they can’t control anyway, including “loving” Him.

If He’s really completely sovereign and knows everything — past, present, and future — then we are all like little robots who have been wired to do what we do….and yet He’s going to cast us into unending torment for not doing what He never wired us to do in the first place. Yes, I know this has been debated and answered through the centuries, but frankly, debates don’t mean jack shit to me unless they become immediate and personal to me. And this topic most certainly has become that.

I have come to reject this idea, because I do believe in God and I do not believe He is a sadistic monster. I believe that if we love Him and try to please Him, it has to fucking mean something. And it can’t mean anything unless we have the option of NOT loving Him or trying to please (or at least know) Him. I have come to believe, through my own experience and intuition, that He is incredibly powerful and wise, but that He does not and CAN not know everything. I think He is a parent….much wiser and stronger by leaps and bounds than His children, but He brings them into the world and then steps back and watches them develop.

And He probably drinks Himself to sleep when He looks at how some of us — like me — have turned out.

So here I am, cruising down the road to work this morning, and I was about to rage at Him about something that happened at work that makes no sense and that is so incredibly unjust and…..I caught myself.

Many times at work, clients have jumped all over me about things that were not my fault. They may have even been aware of my nonculpability in the matter, but they just had to vent. Understandable, I guess….but not pleasant when I’m the one on the receiving end.

And this morning, it occurred to me that I am putting God in the same seat. I’m raging at Him about things that are not His fault. I’m beating up on Him for not being the God fallible men say He is, based on their own desires and presuppositions and worldviews.

At such times, I have to step back and ask myself what I really, REALLY  believe. And when I do this, I have to go away and be alone for a little while, if only fifteen minutes. I have to think my thoughts and clear the dust and do a bit of mental and spiritual tidying-up. And then I am clearer.

Instead of following some elusive phantom like “glorifying God” or “being obedient to His will,” you might try simply having an honest conversation with yourself about what you believe and WHY you believe it. Then  — if you reach conclusions similar to mine — you might try saying, “I’m sorry, Father. I’ll try not to accuse you unfairly any more.” And then go about living out the day.

~ Kirk

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