in god we trust

Posted on January 26, 2008

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in god we trust

The All American Motto we believe so deeply that it is even imprinted on our money. But do we ever stop and think what we mean by “God” or “god”?

Our god, our master, is defined by our actions. Our actions and reactions are a reflections of what is in our hearts. So, who (what) do we serve?

“No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 6:24)

“You\’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you\’re gonna have to serve somebody.” ~ Bob Dylan

Who is our master? Who is our god?

No matter our religion. No matter our beliefs. No matter our values. No matter our spirituality. This is the ultimate question. Who or what do we serve? This cannot be answered without a deep level of soul searching.

Begin by examining and calculating what we spend our time doing each day.

How much time do I spend serving myself each day?

How much time do I spend serving others each day?

How much time do I spend serving my stuff (material possessions) each day?

How much time do I spend primping myself?

How much time do I spend primping my castle; my nice house with my nice yard and my nice fence and my nice car and my nice flowers?

One of the greatest gods of America has been identified by Francis Schaeffer in his book How Should We Then Live (p. 205) as personal peace and affluence .

Personal peace means just to be let alone, not to be troubled by the troubles of other people, whether across the world or across the city—to live one’s life with minimal possibilities of being personally disturbed. Personal peace means wanting to have my personal life pattern undisturbed in my lifetime, regardless of what the result will be in the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren. Affluence means an overwhelming and ever-increasing prosperity—a life made up of things, things, and more things—a success judged by an ever-higher level of material abundance.

In god we trust alright. But have we faced our god? Have we even identified our god?

This can be done only through blood, sweat, and tears; many hours of contemplation, self-examination, and prayer.

“The question Christianity, as well as every religious tradition, puts to men and women yesterday and today is: Do I find my fulfillment in asserting my will to power over myself and others, or in surrendering to myself and others in a spirit of empathy and compassion? And if I can only be myself by surrendering, to what, to whom do I surrender?” (Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly–on being a man, p. 102)

Addendum:

Sometimes, as I drive through the suburbs, I wonder if they were designed to emulate personal peace and affluence. Houses lined up all tidy and looking the same. Picket fences to guard my personal space. Attached garages with automatic door openers so I can come and go, make my money, and remain undisturbed by my neighbors. Heck, I can go weeks on end without a neighbor-sighting if I lived in the ‘burbs.

Related blog links:

For more on suburban isolation, see

View From The Porch

For more on personal peace and being disturbed, see

Poetry as Insurgent Art

Real Love

The god of comfort

For more on affluence, see

Consume, Consume, Consume

Who Am I?

What Would Jesus Buy?

For more on contemplation, see

On Complacency

The Plunge

Seeing

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