Road rage. When I rage at others with my fuck yous and goddamnits it makes me feel worse all round. I didn’t realize this until I somehow stopped doing it. Now, when it happens, I feel angry and hateful, not necessarily at the person whom I’m cursing, but at myself, a kind of sharp screw that turns inward. It is the opposite of smiling, of saying hello. Maybe it does the same damage that clenching my teeth does. I bite off a piece of the anger that is constantly swirling all around us. People tired. Frustrated. Sad. Lonely. In pain. In a hurry. And when I bite off that piece and chew on it spit it out I add to the sum of that anger. Not righteous anger. Just useless free-floating anger.
A long time a ago I had a thought vision dream realization sudden pop of myself, of all of us, as little blue creatures with electric cords for tails. At any time we wanted, at any time I wanted, I could plug myself in and hook up with the divine the good the clear the soft the kisses the grasses the blessed be he who comes. I saw the whole vastness of us with that choice. And at any time I could unplug myself. I could choose disconnection.
The body of Christ, all of us connected. That is how I think of us. Not just people like me, who believe what I do, who butter bread the way I do. But everyone. Every mother father sister brother lover preacher thief comic terrorist missionary deviate sick twisted one of us. We all dwell in God. God is the canvas upon which we paint. God is the ocean we swim. God is the universe we spin and spark and skip along down the road God is the hoola hoop circling round our midriffs.
Have I created this God? Is saying I am God and you are God and God is God all the same thing? I think so. Do my intentions determine my reality? I think so. Because I always have a choice. Some Christians and theologies have called this free will while also saying that we should bend ourselves to God’s will, even when we don’t like his will, even if it means that we cannot be ourselves. But maybe it’s not about bending, about giving in. Maybe it’s just about choice. I can choose to listen or to not listen. I can choose to unplug or to plug in.
Does this explain suffering, babies who die starving with flies in their mouths? No. Well, maybe yes. Someone we everyone all of us yes have made a choice we had an intention we did a thing or didn’t do a thing forgive us Father we did or undid a thing that would have saved that child. I do not like writing that down. I do not like how it makes me feel. I do not like the terrible responsibility that comes with that statement.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On Earth as it is in heaven. Every Sunday I pray/say this to God. And to be about the business of God healing mending sopping binding reaching touching lifting feeding holding praying, then I must intend for this kingdom to come. On earth.
Can my intentions do a lot about this will they make a difference? Does my smiling at you and making you feel better help that baby who just now died from malaria from measles from want of a little clean water? It doesn’t even seem possible. It seems that whatever I do is just a drop in the ocean.
There is a species in Star Trek Deep Space Nine who live in a fluid form in a great lake. They can separate from the lake, their Great Union, if they choose to. They are united but they are distinct indivduals. In one episode, their great leader explains how they live with and in each other. “The drop becomes the ocean, the ocean becomes the drop.”
It’s hard to think of myself so powerful as an ocean, so large, so infinite. It’s much easier to think of myself as a tiny insignificant drop. I can’t do much of anything. But God calls me to be both the drop and the ocean. To move a mountain. To wipe your lips. To unmake a bomb. To realize that we must begin to take care of each other, to unite. Because we already are. United.
In an episode of Star Trek, Spock says to Kirk, “It is fascinating how you humans can feel the death of one person so keenly while the deaths of hundreds barely touches you.” And of course Stalin said it even better. “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”
We are all living in the great lake of God the lake of each other the lake deep spread quilt of the universe. We came from stars. From energy. We are eternal. We are all determining this world and it seems clear that if there is a world to come, we will determine it also. I don’t think God will ever turn us into automatons robots yes men yes sir yes ma’am thine own thy will let me die in you. I do think that if we are ever to have God’s kingdom if we are ever to take care of each other if we ever want to move close to God to plug in and burn that bliss that WOW that oh my I hadn’t realized, then we must know that each moment is a choice. Each moment is charged with our intentions.
Like it or not, we are shaping our lives, this world, God’s kingdom. Like it or not, our responsibility is great. Like it our not I am part of you part of that dead baby part of those flies laying their eggs part of the best the worst part of the infinite the pulls us forward part of the finite that pulls us backward. Like it or not, every moment is a choice and like it or not, everything is shaped by my, by your, by our, intentions.