I’ve got the power! …at least for the time being. Watching movies about bullies seem to be most satisfying when the bully gets his comeuppance, you know, when he is humiliated in the same manner as the people he targets for humiliation. That feeling of satisfaction doesn’t last very long. Were you ever the captain of a team? That’s power. I never was and as a matter of fact I was usually chosen last for team sports. I wasn’t a bully either. I mean, seriously, do you think that someone who is always chosen last has the street creds to be a bully? I don’t think so. (I also didn’t aspire to be a captain or a bully so we’re clear about that.) So what happens when a shiny new object takes away peoples attention because it seems to be all powerful? It can make people a little nutty. They don’t think straight, they believe everything that is said because it looks like power and strength. Well, golly gee wilikers, that type of power will begin to crumble, fall and fade with time. History is our teacher. Call to mind the Romans, Mongols, Ottomans, Third Reich, L.A. Dodgers. They all faded. Putting all our faith in power or the powerful specifically human beings can, and often does, lead to disappointment and disillusionment. Putting faith in things is also iffy.
7 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘Go down at once, for your people whom you brought here from Egypt have become corrupt.
8 They have quickly left the way which I ordered them to follow. They have cast themselves a metal calf, worshipped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting, “Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!” ‘
9 Yahweh then said to Moses, ‘I know these people; I know how obstinate they are! (Exodus 32:7-9)
I’m Irish, I am also a little superstitious. OK I said it! If I am watching a baseball (or basketball or football) game and my team wins, I remember where I was sitting, what I was wearing and even what I was eating. I do this because I have to repeat the ritual exactly for the next game. If I do, winning is assured. If I am in the wrong chair and my team loses, then I can blame it on that. I have the power to make my team win or lose. I know it’s silly to think that but I still do it.
In time, the fascination with that new shiny object fades as does it’s power over me. What endures then? I guess I need to stop and take a look at what I can change and what I cannot and how much energy I have to do either. So, what can I actually do. I do what I can. I am not God. I am not omnipotent. I still will be chosen last for team sports (now geriatric team sports). But that’s OK. I may feel powerless in the face of the powerful, but I know, in time, that the powerful will disappear and I will endure.
41 Human glory means nothing to me.
42 Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you. (John 5:41-42)
It seems that the only thing that will not fade, will not be powerless over time is eternal is love. That’s a pretty good morphin deal. That is power.
…and so it goes