Why do we often see the line “You had one job” (implied: and you blew it) on the Internet today? Often, you will find memes with this line captioning signs bearing misspellings, wrong directions, and false advertisements. Humor aside, are we playing the absentee judge or omnipresent and omniscient cynic today–perhaps more than ever?
We might go so far as to think or say, “You had one job, God” (implied: and you blew it). Perhaps we think God was to make us happy, and instead he did just the opposite.
If we’re looking for God to defend himself, we’ll probably be waiting a very long time. At least in the Bible, God never appears to defend himself. After all, he never answers Job’s question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” (See Job 30:20-23). Paul tells those who would question God’s judgments, “Who are you to question God–God?” (See Rom. 9:20) Not very satisfactory responses (or non-responses) to most people, I dare say.
Our demands beg the question, though: In our moralistic therapeutic society, have we mistakenly assumed God’s job description entails making us happy? Maybe his aim is not to make us happy–at least in some shallow sense, but to make us good. And besides, if we’re such experts on happiness, why don’t we apply for the job? How would we do? How are we doing in making up for God and making others happy?
The Bible does not seek to argue away the problem of evil question. What we do find there is the seemingly absentee deity figure coming close and sharing in our pain and suffering. In fact, he goes so far as to endure it for the joy set before him–and us–to transform and perfect our human condition (Hebrews12:1-3). Ephemeral and fickle happiness gives way to everlasting joy.
But such joy’s still a long way off, we might say. So, why not get some measure of comfort through comic relief by mocking God while we wait?
Non-mocking, honest and open God-searching questions certainly have their place: Jesus himself cries out to God the cry of abandonment from the cross (Matthew 27:46).
I can’t speak for God. Nor will I argue that this is the best of all possible worlds. But I can and will take comfort from the conviction that God does not do memes or hide behind some moniker on the Internet like so many people do today, passing judgment on anyone but themselves. In contrast, this God–the judge of all the earth–becomes the one judged in our place for all our attempts at dethroning God and destroying any sense of real happiness, as he hangs as a God-forsaken man on a God-forsaken hill. He allows the cry of dereliction to hang for a few days that seem like an eternity: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jesus had one job to do, and he did it: “It is finished.” (John 19:30).
Let the memes begin.