Saturday, January 13, 2007

Praise and Adoration

What kind of ego trip is God on that demands constant praise and adoration? A little praise for me goes a long way and adoration makes me nervous. Now, I know that God is not human, but God has been human (and probably will be again). So God knows what happens when you get too much praise or adoration...crucifixion. The world that once loved you turns against you and reviles you. Oh, a few people may think you’re still pretty special, but they are prejudiced.

I’ve read recently about someone who wants to ensure that God is praised 24 hours a day for all of 2007. Natter, natter, natter. Saying the same things over and over again. And, God probably inspired the ancient writer who put those things on parchment or skin back before the King James Version. So, God already knows all those things. God told us so we would know. Now, why are we parroting it back?

Many people who praise God don’t really think about what praise means. Your boss praises you with kind words about the success of your project or about particular traits that make you a good employee – even a good person sometimes. Your mother praises you for taking out the garbage, thereby ensuring a better smelling house and no wild screams when she finds the dog in the can scattering yucky stuff in the kitchen. Your teacher praises you for remembering specific lessons. You offer praise to a friend who has lost weight. In this human world, praise is linked to action, usually specific action.

Adoration is reserved for movie/tv/stage stars and athletes. Occasionally a church figure thinks he deserves to be adored. But, ordinary people don’t indulge much in adoration. Like power, adoration corrupts.

So, do we praise God for creating this world? If our work projects had as many problems as the earth, we would probably be fired. I grant you that this earth is a wonderful place for many of its inhabitants, and I can easily praise God for the goodness I see. But, I have great difficulty making blanket assumptions about how good the world is. I haven’t seen God taking out the garbage lately; what I see are mongrels grabbing all they can grab in politics, churches, businesses, sexual relationships. They’re like the dog turning over the kitchen garbage can; only the dog may not know this is wrong. We can’t say that natural disasters are God’s cleaning tool either. Too much good is thrown away then.

I do believe that God learns lessons from how the earth and its inhabitants act. Unfortunately, most of those lessons – at least the ones from the media – are of greed, lying, betrayal. I hope God does not act on those lessons but notices the goods that are done each day that never make it to the news.

Has God accomplished a great deed lately? We may never know. What science has made known and what problems science has solved may have been the work of God, but can we be sure? After all, humans are made in the image of God and given the ability to create – so was it human intervention or God intervention? How can we know the miracles from the happenstance or from the planned action of humans? Or is everything a miracle?

I think God is so much more than I can understand that mostly I say, “Yea, God!” That’s praise and encouragement enough for me.

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