I have just spent the last hour and a half in the Apple Store purchasing a new iPhone. As if I needed it. Nonetheless, the attraction of the best, the brightest, the shiniest technology finally won me over. In other words, I’m just like millions of others.
The same thing happens with theology. Who wants the old stuff when you can have the new stuff? Who wants to talk about sin? Who wants to talk about the fact that we may not all be gods ourselves? Who wants to consider old-fashioned notions like repentance, sorrow, fasting?
Who wants to sing the classic hymns that are full of theology and push us to think of something besides the fact that we are the center of the universe?
I think that we Americans in particular are drawn to the newest and the best. We are such a new nation in the grand scheme of things. We have long thought that we are the best.
Naturally we are going to be looking for the newest and best in theology as well as in technology, clothes, cars, houses, kitchens, and anything else that we can possibly change out.
So, we succumb quickly to the temptation of changing out God for the best and the brightest. And what could make God more the best and the brightest than to make sure that God circles around us and our needs?
It will work for a while. We can all hypnotize ourselves into a point where we are sure that the God we created in our image is doing nothing but blessing us.
Eventually, we’ll figure out that we are wrong. And then what we shall do is blame God, the one we created, for not living up to our expectations. That then will be our excuse for not bothering to develop the important spiritual disciplines that can actually be transformational for us and for the society around us.
As for me, I’m going to be too busy playing with my new iPhone to worry about such unimportant things as prayer, fasting, giving alms, all of which are required of us during these weeks of Lent.
Or maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, I will stick to my fast, seek humility in my soul, and be grateful that I can also have a little fun at this time in my life.