God says to me with kind of a smile,
“Hey how would you like to be God awhile
And steer the world?”
“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.
Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?”
“Gimme back that wheel,” says God,
“I don’t think you’re quite ready yet.”
(God’s Wheel, A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, © 1981)
Growing up, I loved reading Shel Silverstein poems! These books of poetry often found their way into my backpack for our weekly silent reading time at school. I enjoyed them because some of them were honest, some of them were goofy, and some of them were just OUT THERE! But, tucked between the silly poems, there were poems that hold much truth.
Much like this poem, we’re prone to thinking of our own needs instead of focusing on what needs to be done. The movie Bruce Almighty, focuses on what happens when one person is in charge of the world. Instead of looking at the larger picture of how every event interacts, Bruce causes events to happen that benefit him. After a short time with this power, meteors have hit the Earth, thousands win the lottery, and riots have broken out in different cities. Things were certainly a mess!
Things certainly get messy when we’re in charge. As we journey through Lent, we are reminded, through prayer and service, that we are not in control. By focusing more intently on serving our neighbors, we are reminded that we are called to care for each person and their needs first, not our own.
As we persist on our Lenten journey, may we continually look for ways to serve our neighbors – within our families, within our congregation, within our community, and within our world!
Peace & Blessings,