I first knew her as Peggy Yadon, from our church’s high school youth group. She now goes by Peggy Yadon Nilson, and told a story about how her grandson, Jack, announced the answer that has puzzled people for eons, “God only eats bologna sandwiches. Because he likes them.”
I long ago accepted God’s deity, but have wondered about his diet for some time. Puzzle solved, thanks to a convinced four year old. But why does Jack have that confidence? His mom provided the answer, “That’s all Jack wants to eat,” so he created God in his own image.
Don’t we all sometimes do that, with both the Father and Jesus and faith? “My God wouldn’t send anyone to Hell.” Or, “Jesus was a great moral teacher, one of many.” Or try “Jesus was just one of various paths to God,” or “I want to find a faith that allows…” We can all fill in the blanks, and if we probe our souls, we’ve probably made similar comments.
Voltaire famously said that “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” In truth, he argued for the necessity of God for a stable society, but too often we do create our gods, to match our desires. The multitude of denominations and religions demonstrates that. Don’t like what God says? Don’t want to believe something he commands? Just create your own God that allows you to do and believe what you desire.
Let me suggest that our perception of God or Jesus or faith serves as our roadmap to spiritual intimacy. If the map inaccurately shows a road, we may get slowed down. If it tells us a road is there that isn’t, we may lose our way. So, if we want to live in reality, then we need to deal with God as he describes himself. Not as we wish him to be. Frankly, a lifetime of bologna sandwiches would wear out pretty quickly after my first taste of a steak. So, why settle for pale imitations of the transcendent Creator of the Universe?
Kick Starting the Application
Think carefully, what is your source of belief about the Father, Jesus, and faith? Your preferences, or what they have told us? What most tempts you to tweak any of them? Can anything other than God’s word, the Bible, serve as an authoritative roadmap to spirituality? Can you think of some beliefs you have about God that don’t match the Bible? What led you to that? What can you do to be sure your roadmap is accurate?