I listened to a couple of authors discussing their latest book on the radio during my ride into the church this morning. It was a blatantly biased political tome (whose title I intentionally will not reveal) written by a duo that has always been
praised for their fairness in reporting. It served to get me thinking about the quest some people have for power and the lengths to which they will go to attain it.
As we look at human history, we see over and over again how true this is. The movement of which we are a part as church began as a power struggle among an occupying army, an established and privileged religion, and a small, rather rag-tag group of questioning folks representing the nearly forgotten of society, led by a rebellious rabbi! Christians today like to think that rabbi, et al, ultimately won the battle.
This particular quest for power assumed a new set of rules and expectations: things like compassion, equality, fairness. Again, looking at human history, current events and Google, I question whether or not our “movement”/religion has succeeded.
Now, you may be wondering why I included Google in my look-see. I went online a while ago and typed in “quest for power” on the subject line. What came up were a multitude
(nice biblical language) of articles and references to an apparent online game with the name, “Quest for Power.”
Sadly, I ask, is that what it has become? Is the attaining of power a game? Win at any cost. Make the other a loser. Get my own way no matter what the consequences. There are people who are – I canʼt think of a better term – control freaks. They can be everyday sorts who get a taste of authority and quickly become addicted to it and must have more and more. They take on the tactics of what we recognize as bullying. Most of the time, such people donʼt even recognize that it is happening and when they start to realize how they have changed, they live in denial.
This certainly is one of those times in my life that Iʼm doing a lot of reflection. I wonder how I used/abused my position within the congregations I have served. I wonder should I have been more insistent or less about many things? I wonder if I had the opportunity to start all over what I would do differently. I wonder, with the power I still have as a member of a family with a circle of friends, and as a citizen, how I will use it. Power isnʼt a bad thing unless it is misused. To me it is
misused if it is wielded as a weapon and doesnʼt promote the common good.
Make of this what you will, because I was just thinking…