Too Big To Fail


With now a number closer to 7 billion than 6 billion, what was happening at this point in history? With this generation? I wonder what God had learned with the human population explosion. I had read that the Philippines ten years ago had 71 million people. The current population estimate there is 91 million people. So how had that Passover instruction, the one how to eat the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it, affected life there? Or here. in all of this traffic?

I greatly admire the scholarship of Jack Miles, a former Jesuit who won the Pulitzer Prize for his non-fiction work, God: A Biography. His curriculum vitae includes study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, beside his Ph.D., in near Eastern Languages from Harvard. In my reading in either God: A Biography or to his approach to the Christian God in in his sequel, Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, there is nothing heretical in the Christian perspective — if heresy could ever come out of a truthful attempt of discovering God, with no directed end to that of selfish use of power. I have read both books.

There was this nobility of human kind in that Genesis motive, God’s confession for existing: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It was a mutual endeavor, when God was quoted by the author in use of what is called the royal “WE.”

God wanted an image, it was written. God needed an image to conquer that sense of loneliness? In creation? That underlying calm in a world was shattered. Yet day after day, most of the 6.7 billion do find food to eat.

With diffuse anxiety came war. Divorce. The ensuing dysfunction in family, with all that trouble communicating. And then the lies which ensued from the dysfunction. That was quite an aftermath to creation.

I wondered if He expected all of this aftermath? He had had a lot of silence before He set out with His creation plan. And any sense of loneliness, any sense of silence, was long since shattered in the prayers that must storm heaven every new morning.

God as a writer, looking for character in characters. And not getting a lot of cooperation. In the aftermath of all the discussion over the last 12 months of “too big to fail , how prepared is any author for the task of creating, I wondered? In the human writer, the writer has immense power along with self-ignorance, when self-ignorance has a lot to do with the need to create in the first place. At the start most authors have no idea for what he/she wishes. After taking pen to hand, Jack Miles asks, how prepared was God for what ensued? Is that why it took a few millennium to revise His plan? So God needed creation to realize what exactly he wished for in the first place? This was a lot like marriage….when a guy has no idea what he was in store for?

When it comes to women, there was a lot of talk these days about self-esteem. I have a friend with a Ph.D., who counsels young women all the time about their self-esteem. No one has ever gotten involved in procreation without some sense of self, to some degree, first. So with the education process, knowledge comes before any sense of self-esteem.

So once God bestowed the power to create, it was a lot like watching your own kids, and crossing your fingers, as they dealt with their powers to procreate, hopefully with a sense of good and evil. That second creation, with Noah, seems to have been an attempt to start over with some sense of morality, good and evil, to pass along to humanity. And so began the story of a Chosen People. A search for a Chosen People. Based upon blood.

In some parts of the world, this desire to procreate seems to have waxed and waned. Just as over time, Jack Miles writes, God’s desire to create subsides. Miles thought that this was the reason God has gone silent in the modern world. “The desire for potential carries within a tragic potential. Once you have seen your image, will you want to keep looking? Once you know who you are, will you lose your purpose?”

Wondering at some point if God did not expect more from humanity. In his book, Miles does address things like the different number of books in the Old Testament, as counted by Catholic and Jews. He addresses, as in any literary criticism, things such as point of view. But he never addressed the change from one book to the next, with all of these different authors, voice. Things like active or passive voice which can quietly change. When the authors never again captured God quite like the author had in the Book of Genesis.

There was a need for relevancy in the world. When you wrote for others. When you work became a prayer, in writing a book. When over time, in a generation, you discovered the meaning of a phrase. Yet when generations were so different from each other. In music. In prayer. So that was why the reference to the God of Abraham. The God of Isaac. The God of Jacob. This monotheism with one God who was so different over time. So that was the difficulty of those Catholics who knew God before Vatican II with those Catholics who came after?

On the eve of Labor Day. An author in search of the collective voice, in a world of iPhones and iPods. Amidst the need for relevancy, when as a writer, your work became a prayer. Whatever your work, there was still this need, this collective need, for a collective voice for a generation, in the search for relevancy. In an age where labor unions had died, only a faint collective voice in protest could be heard, in a need to be rescued. To cry out in protest. Over hunger. Over unemployment. Over sickness, without health insurance. Over abandonment. Crises in identity come over the erosion, the changes, with the times.

So what was happening at this point in history? Wondering at some point about this who-dunnit, if God did not expect more from humanity. The book, God: A Biography, stops at the end of the Old Testament. Were the answers back at the beginning of a story? In this nobility of human kind, in that Genesis motive? With a sense of good and evil? When God changed His theophany from individuals, like Adam, like Eve, to community leaders like Moses?

Wondering at some point what was happening at this point in history? If God did not expect more from humanity. With that generation in Egypt. His Chosen People. Remembering the Passover instruction. About the lamb that must be a year-old male. The lamb which shall “not be eaten raw or boiled. But roasted whole…None of it must be kept beyond the next morning. Whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.”

Thus the instruction that came with the Passover. Which still applied to my generation. In these traffic jams. “This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight.”

So what was happening to this, with this, generation. To this nobility, in this mutual endeavor? With my generation? To that sense of identity? In the “too big to fail” world? With all this talk about self-esteem? At this point in history when the teaching on how to pray has long since been combined with instruction how to cook the lamb, with instruction on how to eat it, roasted whole, if we were to somehow survive? Together. “In proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.”

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