Sunday, October 08, 2006

How Much Does God Weigh?

In his book God in the Wasteland, David Wells describes the notion of how God is "weightless" in our postmodern society.

"...God is now weightless. I do not mean that he is ethereal but rather that he has become unimportant. He rests upon the world so inconsequentially as not to be noticeable... Those who assure pollsters of their belief in God's existence may nonetheless consider him less interesting than television, his commands less authoritative than their appetites for affluence and influence, his judgment less awe-inspiring than the evening news, and his truth less compelling than the advertisers' sweet fog of flattery and lies. That is weightlessness."

One way to respond to this is to consider how secularized our society has become, but I was more impressed to consider my daily life, especially in the marketplace. If there's any place where "God rests so inconsequentially so as not to be noticeable", it is in the arena of business.

In the typical corporate workplace, the serious mention of God is so rare that it seems unusually out of place to do so. Even when spoken of, there is no gravity to the idea that God exists or that he has a claim on us. In stature, he ranks only a notch higher than a myth.

I wonder how I'm contributing this current state. I believe that this "weightlessness" of God at the workplace exists in large part because as Christians, we speak and act so as to undermine the reality of the immortal, invisible God. Much of this is inadvertant, unwitting and by omission.

Yet, when we speak of God in general, philosophical terms but never in personal terms, we contribute to the weightlessness of God. When we consistenly express enthusiasm about the football game on Sunday but no enthusiasm about the Sunday meeting at church, we contribute to the current dilemma. In times of difficulty, if we express our need for assistance from other co-workers but never openly acknowledge our need for God, we functionally ignore his providence.

I'm pausing to consider what I'm communicating about God everyday. Do I speak of God as though he truly exists? I wonder how we can better speak, work and live in such a manner that the gravity of who God is cannot be ignored. What would that look like?

No comments: