You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?” (Isaiah 29:16)
Sixty-five years ago today (September 29, 2020), I was still in my mother’s womb. Based on the BabyMed Reverse Conception Calculator, I was conceived on or about August 23, 1955. This means that 65 years ago I was only the size of an apple seed and my presence in my mother’s womb was causing her morning sickness, fatigue, and cramps.
Yet, somehow, within 25 years or less, I had risen to godhood. That’s right. In such a short span of time, I had gone from such humble beginnings to viewing myself as the center of the universe. I had all the answers. I knew what was right and what was wrong. And, when God didn’t do things according to my plans, I criticized Him and dared to reprimand Him. “God, do you know what you’re doing? Whose side are you on, anyway? You really screwed things up.” I always knew what was best.
Yet, this period of godhood was a time of high anxiety. Being god is not easy, especially as I became increasingly aware of the world’s problems. Heart disease, cancer, world hunger, poverty, war, our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and the threats of Communism, terrorism, pandemics, global cooling (later, global warming), asteroid impacts, and runaway greenhouse gas effects weighed heavily on my mind. The bigger I was in my own mind, the more responsible I believed myself to be to find answers to the world’s problems.
Yet, in all of my anxiety, it never occurred to me how the world managed to survive while I was still only the size of an apple seed. I never wondered how the world got along when I had no existence at all – except in the mind of God.
And through most of my adult life I never gave it much thought that some unseen power was keeping my heart beating 118,000 times a day. This unseen power was keeping my lungs breathing 22,000 times each day. He was bringing nutrient-rich blood to the doorstep of all 40 trillion cells of my body and was guiding each of these cells in its function and maintenance. That same unseen force caused every organ in my body to do its individual work and to work harmoniously with all the others to keep me alive. It never occurred to me that I could never, by myself, manage all this activity and organization. I’d be overwhelmed by such a task. So, I still persisted in my delusion of godhood. I still thought I was the one in charge.
Mercifully, God allowed circumstances to eat away at this delusion. He allowed sickness, injury, and pain to awaken me to the complexity of my body and health. He allowed failure to show me my dependence upon Him. He allowed disappointment and the frustration of my plans to show me that He’s got plans of His own and demands that I align myself with them. He allowed my own physical, mental, and emotional weakness and frailty to destroy the delusion of my own deity.
But in doing so, God saved my sanity and brought me the peace that comes only from trusting in Him. God brought me back to the healthy mental state of humility.
Getting old is humiliating. But it’s also liberating. I no longer believe that I carry the fate of the world on my shoulders. I let God be God and humbly trust Him to do what He does best – the miraculous, the infinite, and all that is humanly impossible.
Yet, I suspect that my experience is common to most people. Most of us make the journey to godhood and back. But how can such a delusion befall us? How can mere creatures, who once consisted of nothing more than a tiny cluster of cells in their mother’s womb take on the self-image of deity? Maybe it’s genetic, something inherited from our previous “father” – the devil (John 8:44). Remember, it was the devil who – though only a creature – aspired to godhood (Isaiah 14:12-14). May God save us from his dreadful delusion!
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, please bring me back to reality. Help me to understand and acknowledge my own limitations- and to trust in Your almighty power and love. Help me to understand that I will never outgrow You, dear Father, but will always be Your beloved and cherished child. Grant that I will cherish that blessed status and rest in Your unfailing love. Amen.
(Information from: https://www.babymed.com/tools/retro-conception-birthday-calculator; https://www.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/5-weeks-pregnant)