Posted by: Brad Stanford | March 11, 2010

I Am Guilty

Unfortunately, it was me.

I don’t expect anyone to accept this as the apology it is meant to be. I do want to set the record straight for those in the future who are far removed from me, who are wondering what happened to my culture. The death of our culture was my fault, along with many others like me. By the time we realized it, it seemed to be too late.

I started out life with the idea that I was God. I didn’t think of it in those terms at the time, but I can present many witnesses from my past to confirm that I at least acted like I thought I was God. In fact, I was so good at it that some people are still mad at me some twenty years later. Not only do I consider that proof, but I now consider that to be a reasonable amount of time for those people to be angry at me. I do wish they could see me now, for who I’ve become, but I can not argue with the very simple principle that one reaps what one sows.

It was only through the love of good friends that I found out that I wasn’t really God. These are the types of friends that can listen past the ninnyrattle of the mouth, and hear the heart. True friends – those who stick around in spite of the large hind-region-shaped buffoon that I, at the drop of a hat, can make myself out to be. Sure, I embarrassed them. Often. But they were able to smile and tell everyone else, “Please move along, there’s nothing to see. Just a man pretending to be God. Again.”

I’m not looking for sympathy, dear reader. I’m not looking for that at all. I do want you to understand what happened. There was simply a slight misunderstanding. You see, when I learned that I should be like God, I somehow truncated it to “Be God.” Perhaps I was clearing my throat when it was said. Or maybe I blinked when i was reading it. Whatever the cause, I fought desperately to live up to my singular conviction, which proved to be extremely difficult without the aid of some internal dishonesty. But I managed to hold on for a good long time, and the carnage from the fallout seemed to be a reasonable price for being a universal deity.

In the meantime, people were hurting, hungry, dying, and poor. They were lonely, sick, and hopeless, with no one to care for them. And it was my fault.

It turns out that being God and being like Him are two very different things. It also turns out that to be like Him, you have to know Him. That takes time with one’s mouth shut, and I am confident that I can produce many witnesses to convince you that I have not had a lot of time to get to know Him.

Here’s what do I know so far: He is patient, kind, gull of goodness, mercy, forgiveness, grace, peace, joy, and faithfulness. He spends an enormous amount of time with the undeserving (like me). He refuses to accept idle chit-chat as deep relationship. He loves to teach by example. When He decides to do something nothing can stop Him. He has an amazing imagination. He likes to whisper the future into your ear to give you hope. He bangs you up against the wall like a dirty shoe so He can get the mud off, and makes no apologies about it. He always shares His food, His house, His clothes, and His projects. He loves to see himself in your eyes.

Society would’ve been much better off had me and thousands of others in my situation had understood that to be like God was better than trying to be God. But since trying to be Him was the very first sin ever committed, it makes me think that it is something we are all tempted to do, regardless of our religious background. Regardless, we are being awakened to this now, and are repenting.

If you are reading this not knowing where “America” would’ve been on your map, then sadly, we were too late.

If, on the other hand, you are reading this while doing research on how America recovered from certain death, then it was not too late, meaning that millions were helped, healed, paid for, fed, forgiven, befriended, served, and loved. By the time my life is over, I do hope it is said of me that my convictions were just as strong to be like God as they were to be God. If I die guilty, let me be guilty of that.

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