Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God Asks Us To Be More Than Human

We live in an age of superheroes. Spiderman, Iron Man, Batman, Cat Woman, and others, are hugely popular fictional figures, globally. Religion used to be the source of superhuman images, but modern technology demanded its own. The Hindu religion, particularly, has many gods who are similar.

Although it's not often seriously discussed, every major religion recognizes the existence of angels, who, according to Scripture, sometimes intercede to help human beings.  This author has experienced that contact, and it's a breathtaking honor. Perhaps you have had that contact, too, but never knew it. Angels sometimes appear as kind and helpful strangers; ordinary people.

We humans yearn to be exceptional and powerful. Mythological heroes exist in every culture, and have been around for at least 5,000 years, so they obviously fulfill a human need. Hercules, Perseus, Diana, Athena, and Jason still appear in popular films.

God wants us to be superhuman. We have the capacity to do a great deal more than just eat, sleep, work, and procreate.When the world was still a wild and unmapped wilderness, humankind had the opportunity for adventure and the extraordinary life. Sadly, the modern world has no practical wilderness left to explore. Google Maps shows us every bit of it. Sure, one can still go to New Guinea or Outer Mongolia for adventure, but only as a vacation. A miserable vacation of steaming, dangerous, bug-infested jungle; or vast, empty, flat grasslands. There are no places left to legally settle and build a community.

From time immemorial, western expansion served as a safety valve for societies pressured by expanding populations and dwindling resources. Now there is no longer that safety valve, and the adjustment to this reality is fraught with peril.

So what can we do? We only have the inner world left to us. Our hearts and minds. Pray to God and connect. Dig your own well, so to speak. We each have an inner conduit, deep down, that we can use to reach our Creator. You've seen it in your dreams. This is the great value of meditation and prayer.

We can become superhuman by not giving in to anger, greed, sadism, selfishness, gluttony, sexual promiscuity or masochism. These are all human qualities that cause us grief, pain, and suffering. Our lives will be immensely improved if we cut them out of our behavior. And it will please God at the same time.