The God of Our Creation

There Were Monsters Outside of Our Houses so We Invented a God to Keep Them at Bay.

Duo Dickinson / 7.22.21

It has been over 700 days since I took more than even a weekend away from work. I tried to break the grind amid sequestration a year ago, but the state I was going to required a two-week sequestration upon entry. It was determined that where I lived was too dangerous. And understandably so. So the greater good controlled my desires and I stayed home. I did my duty. Vaccine science has since lifted the terror from most of us (though certainly not all of us). I can go on vacation next week, leaving the god of pandemic control behind, sort of.

But the prospect of respite has clarified a perspective that went unheard in the coping. At what happened and who we became. During these last eighteen months, a religion of survival was writ universal before us, absolute and correct. I fully followed the science and beyond. There were rules of behavior, values, even morality in this imposed Canon of Control.

There were monsters outside of our houses, so we invented a god to keep them at bay. Control was this god’s name. This new god was nourished by our fears and cost us talismans of devotion. So we bought hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, visors, air purifiers, to keep us unharmed from the unseen enemy. In the name of Control, safety protocols became liturgies. Then orthodoxies.

Why did we create such a god, when God created us?

Rather than have faith in the reality of the miracle of our creation and a world of unfathomable complexity and beauty, we opted to have full faith in control. This is part of our humanity. We are the child who instantly has full ownership of his Christmas gifts, forgetting any gratitude for the inscrutable generosity of giving.

During the eighteen months of devotional control, my wife and I took great delight in about 30 safe connections with those we love during the height of the fully dangerous world we were trapped in. We followed the Commandments of the moment, connected, and no one was infected. We triumphed when the natural world threatened us. We applied rules and yet connected

We embraced a belief in our ability to control, often forgetting faith in the outcome. This is how God made us, often denying God. This exchange in a sea of fear is fully human. The birds did not know there was a plague, nor did my begonias. But we humans did, and felt devotion in our righteousness at being holy in our rituals of worshipping our control.

Now, however, our control is not enough. The monsters remain — dangerous, with more adept, and new threats that scare fully rational, thoughtful people. As we careen out of the social integration of religion that was fully traditional in our daily lives, we are drifting into the religion of control for a faith beyond ourselves.

But trying to control anything is the orthodoxy of ourselves.

We were made that way, by an inscrutable God, whose son pleaded in the Garden that his death not be the answer. Jesus is the reason I am a Christian. His humanity is my humanity. He died. I will die. So will you. No matter how many Covid protocols you followed and will follow. But knowing how to avoid death is the way we were made. It’s perhaps why Jesus felt anguished as he marched toward Jerusalem. It is why the world has been swept up in radical efforts at control, why we, now, are delighted in our momentary triumph. Until it is not enough.

God’s underserved gifts are overwhelming to the understanding of our lives, where protocols we create save lives. But if you save something you do not own, did not buy, even earn — was it yours to save?

We are victimized by the pandemics of the world that we did not create, but assume we can control. I will go on vacation next week. I followed the controls of earning money, maintaining health, determining a place for my triumph over the world. But I triumph over nothing. I simply work in the shadow of creation, and know that I do not make the light that makes life. No matter how many vaccinations I have.