Monday, March 19, 2007

God Loves Boating!

I have seen the same bumper sticker on two different cars in the past two weeks, and I have started to take notice. It is a plain white bumper sticker with royal blue lettering that proclaims, "God Loves Boating!" Now, the "loves" part is actually communicated with a red heart, not the word, "loves." But that is the general message. God loves boating. Did not know that.

It made me think about how convenient God is. Since He is not here on land to defend Himself, we can decide what His interests, or apparently, His hobbies are. It reminds me of those motorcycle drivers I see wearing jackets that announce that they are "biking for the Lord." For the Lord? Are they on an errand? Is the Lord out of milk?

Now let me get one thing straight: I believe in God and am not scorning Him or people who believe in Him. Quite the opposite, actually. I just doubt that He, though divine intervention, asked those families to place that message on their cars and tell the world about his love of the open water.

I believe that there are messages God wants us to share with each other. Love thy neighbor. Honor thy mother and father. Do not kill. Its where people start putting words in His mouth that I become skeptical.

At funerals, you hear people say, "it's God's way." When we're confused about why something happened or didn't happen, we shrug and mutter, "well, the Lord works in mysterious ways." And my favorite, when we're faced with a situation where we can either make a right or wrong decision, someone will ask, "what would Jesus do?" I can't help but think, "Call his Dad."

In wars across the world, everyone feels as if their version of God is on their side, justifying their fight. God has been both blamed and praised for things that were done by mankind. Ben Franklin even claimed that beer is "proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

What I'm trying to say is, at what point are we guilty of exploitation? If God is a convenient scapegoat for feelings we don't want to deal with, issues we can't explain, or vices we want to justify, does that detract from the human qualities we possess for critical thought, problem solving, and self-control? Or does looking for a comfortable way to sweep our issues under the rug make us all the more human?

Something tells me I am reading too much into a silly bumper sticker.

To be honest, I hope God does love boating. I'd like to think that every once in a while, God gets up on a beautiful Sunday morning and decides to go out on His boat. It would make me feel less guilty about not going to church.

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