Posts Tagged ‘10 Commandments’

Almost anything can become a god

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Almost anything can become a god.   That is why the first commandment in the Old Testament stated clearly – “You shall have no other gods before My face.”  Our faith clearly centers itself in that same warning.  “…any person or thing that is loved above all things, becomes a god, and is divine.”  (True Christianity)

It is hard to keep perspective around this simple concept.  God does not demand 24/7 attention.   God is not “needy.” He is not a struggling co-dependant searching for constant attention.  God is giving and in that giving, actually a rather quiet presence.

So how do we keep the find the right degree of attentiveness?

First, be aware of obsession and compulsion (including religious!).   Freedom fails to grow where obsession and compulsion take deep, binding root.  Obsession and compulsion – the not to do list.

Second be aware of the need for quiet.  As I grow older, the more I feel pulled to the concept that God’s voice most often shows as luminescent silence.  It is not the silence of “Hello is anyone out there?”  It is the silence of our souls, deeply anchored in God, but now free from the trappings and clutching and control born of our ego.

The Comparison Trap: A cucumber or a grape?

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Arguably the least talked about of the 10 commandments is to “not covet.” Given our culture, that should not surprise. Culturally, “coveting” or wanting what another possesses is a sentiment nourished in our culture.  I know even with our kids, I am far more prone when a son or daughter offers a remark tinged with jealously (most recently over where their friends had gone for spring break) to offer a simple “But look at all you have compared to most Americans.” What I fail to say,nicely, is “coveting is wrong.”  My preferred “exit” out of the comparison trap is simply to compare myself or my family circumstances with those less fortunate.  Crazy.   I am just as caught in the comparison trap as my kids.

This is no small thing.  Warning bells sound constantly about the dangers of coveting.  Coveting however is not a glamorous sin.  It makes no list of the “hot sins.” There are no 12 Step program to address it.  It is rarely if ever preached on.

I believe that is because it is so deeply engrained in our very being that even acknowledging it takes a perspective a rare view can muster.  I watched this video and smiled knowing we may have evolved in some ways, but certainly not in others.

Cucumbers and Grapes are humorous.  Junior Seau’s suicide not.  A 12 time all-pro in the NFL he committed suicide this week.  The average NFL retiree is 6 times more likely to commit suicide than the average American.  6 times.   How much of that is somehow connected to the comparison trap – to a reaching and stretching to what our culture deems as success only to reach that pinnacle and realize the superficial hollowness of it all?

I don’t know if those were Seau’s reasons for taking his own life.  But I do know that the comparison trap does lead people, as Thoreau famously said to “lives of quiet desperation” as they chase after a phantom – a “ranking” as it were where they are now “ok.”  There is no such ranking.   The settling is when we gain a glimpse that only our journey will get us there – only our journey – who we are, where we are – will get us there.