Thursday, January 6, 2011

Theocentricity and other places to visit while Free-Willin'

I firmly believe it you speak with a British accent you are automatically smarter than people who don’t.  Idiotic?  Maybe… But were the Wright Brothers idiots for owning a Bicycle shop?

Yes.  Yes they were.  If they spoke with English accents they would have figured out that plane thing so much earlier.

I heard a new word this week and thought it sounded super smart.  If I could force a British accent I would say it all day long, maybe as long as a fortnight.  What’s a fortnight?  I have these with my kids sometimes.  It involves building structures out of couch cushions then having small pirate or ninja battles for the evening. 

But the word I heard was Theocentric*.  How awesome is that word?    I bet it can power a whole city, like hyperdynamics.  OK, I just made that word up.  But Theocentric is a real word!  Honest…

It means centering on God as the Prime concern.  Now I know I have both Christians and non-Christians read my blog.  I love you all.  So if you don’t wish to read about God this week, tune in next week for my part 2 telling of my second trip to Canada.  It will not be as preachy because…well, God doesn’t like Canada.  Especially the French side.

Ok, if you are still reading… there are things as a Christian I often have wondered about.  Many, many times I hear from people in Christianity about praising God every day.  And worship him, don’t forget to worship.  And thank him; you need to thank him for everything he has done for you.

And I begin to think to myself, wow, God seems pretty insecure if he needs all that.  What type of all powerful being needs me to tell him how great he is?  I mean, doesn’t he already know?  Cool kids in school knew they were cool, no one had to tell them they were cool, that’s what made them cool.

I had spent a lot of time on this, because if you ask other Christians these questions, they look at you sometimes like you must not have been reading your bible to see how awesome God truly is.  I understand the awesomeness, but God needs to be told he is awesome?

Someone said to me “But Craig, don’t you like being told when you do a good job, or when given praise for something you have accomplished?”  Well, yeah, but I’m not God.  I have self awareness issues and some psychosis and flawed perception of myself.  I am pretty sure the Almighty does not suffer my personal faults.  He’s perfect right?

Why do I need to tell God how holy he is?  He knows that right?  Or how good?  Is he not aware of that either?

I refuse to accept the assertion that the Lord in Heaven needs me to tell him for his own personal benefit how extravagant everything he made is.  It makes no sense.  How can a divine being require praise from a human being?  That’s like a 4 year old telling a physics professor that the professor is really good at counting the apples that are in the flash card picture.  The praise is insufficient and irrelevant.

So, I started digging into it and the answer was not that hard to find.

To the shock of some, it appears human beings in general are selfish.  Now I know what you’re thinking….Craig give me back my lawnmower you have had it long enough.

Follow me on this though.  Self preservation is very intrinsic to who we are.  We as individuals must make sure our basic needs are met (I am not going all Maslow here on you I promise), before we are capable of meeting the needs of others.  And when we become families, our selfishness extends to those we love.  We guard and protect our own.  As a man, husband and father I make sure the day to day needs of my family are met.  If I lost my job and times got desperate there is no telling what lengths I would go to protect my family.  I’ve never been in that situation, but I could imagine I would make sure my wife and kids had what they needed.

I don’t think we are all that different.  And I think God probably knew this.  Or had some idea.  Maybe a manual or something.

I notice though in my “Thanking God for All I have” requirement it forces me to stop and think about, on a point by point macro level what I truly do have, and what I should be thankful for. 

And it makes me… thankful.

I see my wife, who I still have despite some health issues.  My kids, two of which we almost lost to us during or before childbirth due to complications.  A job, when unemployment is 10%.  The fact that I am not French-Canadian.

Immediately when I become thankful my attitude shifts to people who don’t have what I do because of loss or some other circumstance and it then motivates me to be more giving in general.  Being thankful generates contentment and makes me aware of others needs.

The “Be sure you Praise God for his Awesomeness and his Creation!” requirement forces me to stop looking at the mundane and look at the extraordinary.  I have caught myself sometimes, driving home from work, pulling in the driveway and although I drove home, not once did I take the time to notice a thing outside my windows besides what was immediately in front of me.  There are some people who post pictures on the internet and they capture stills of nature that are awe inspiring.  If you don’t take the time and force yourself to look at what is, you will fail to appreciate how small you really are.  Humans in their arrogance and all their shining achievements are dwarfed in comparison to a clear night sky.

Each one of the crazy requirements that I am told to do for God in the end doesn’t benefit God very much at all.  It just removes the focus off of me long enough for me to realize certain truths and realities that exist and that funny enough, God is pretty awesome.

Theocentric, centering on God as a prime concern, reveals more about my humanity and my place in this life rather than me, focusing on my needs, first. 

The Wright Brothers were famous, but they were also Christians.  They felt that studying God’s awe inspiring creation of birds and how they fly would lead them to the proper dynamics of propulsion and lift to take flight.  They left what they knew about flight and gliders and bike frames and saw something extraordinary.

*word provided by Yankee Biz: Poet, Muse and thinker of random accurate thoughts.