Monday, February 05, 2007

God's Power in Man's Hands

Psalm 62 ends with a flourish:
"One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
Power belongs to you, God,
and with you, Lord, is unfailing love;
and You reward everyone
according to what they have done."

Today I listened to a podcast from the online magazine. Apparently some of the CEO's who have gotten busted in the past couple of years (Ken Lay, Martha Stewart, the Tyco guy whose last name I can't spell or pronounce, etc) all had an obsession with corporate jets (the Tyco guy had thirteen of them!!!). The podcast, in a funny/sobering analysis, explored the ridiculous results when a person takes too much power, prestige, possessions and personal achievement too far.

But power belongs to God. So why does he keep giving it too so few people with such few scruples? Because of course if I was in Ken Lay's shoes, I would use my power very differently. I like to think.

Jesus instructs his disciples that too many people sell their soul in order to get more of the world. And what they get falls through their fingers like sand sooner or later. Apparently Stewart is grabbing for the sand again. Jesus also demonstrates with his life that there is a way to lose life in order to gain it.

I wonder what the similarity is between power and unfailing love. I wonder if the psalmist is identifying an odd paradox: the kind of difficulty we experience in letting go of accumulated power is similar to the difficult experience of loving unfailingly.

There isn't much power for me to exercise, especially compared to CEO's, presidents, mayors, or Wal-mart greeters. But with the power I do I looking to exercise it for my own gain? to increase it for my own benefit? or use it to lift up others? I like to think that I use my power to benefit my family...which indirectly benefits myself. And the unfailing love I lavish on my folks, my wife, my kids, etc indirectly comes right back to me.

So again I am hearing another invitation from Jesus to use what power and love I have to lift up the unlifted, to bless the unblessed, to benefit the unbenefited, wherever they may be found. God's power in man's hand can make for a beautiful day. Especially when God gives the promised reward...a mysterious gift that I think I want...though I don't really know what it is...but I'm sure it is really good. I'm sure of it...

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