God at Work

October 13, 2010 § 1 Comment

Just as in the spiritual kingdom our state is one of utter dependence on God, in the earthly kingdom our state is one of utter dependence on other people. This truth, of course, flies in the face of our contemporary values, especially for us Americans. We have an ideal of self-sufficiency. We would love to be able to grow our own food, build our own home, and need no one. Our horror of being dependent on someone or something else is so great that when we are sick, many of us would rather die than have to “depend on some  machine to keep me alive.” Many would rather be killed. “If I get really sick, I don’t want to be a burden to my kids. Send for Dr. Kevorkian.” Never mind that when your adult sons and daughters were babies, they were utterly dependent on you to feed them, clothe them, pay their medical bills, and change their diapers. Whether we want to accept it or not, self-sufficiency is an illusion. We do depend on other people – the farmer, the plumber who put in our water system, the doctor, our parents – for our very lives.

“It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). From the beginning, God put us in families, tribes, societies. God ordained that we be in relationships. He ordained that we need each other. From ancient hunters and gatherers who had to join together to bring down a buffalo that is much stronger than any one of them, to the complex division of labor in modern industrial economies, we are all in this together.

From God at Work, Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

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