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Too Important to Fire

Too Important to Fire

So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:7

After my last relapse, part of me understood that I could lose my career. When my addiction came to light, and as my job appeared to be in jeopardy, there was another part of me that believed that the hospital couldn’t fire me. There were only a handful of people capable of covering the ER, and to suddenly take me off the schedule would be a disaster. You can’t run the ER without me. I was partly right. Covering my shifts was a scheduling disaster. I was wrong though, about how indispensable I was. I thought that for the sake of the hospital, they’d have to keep me, but I had it backwards. For the good of the hospital, I had to go. I made a terrible miscalculation regarding my place in that world.

I think we’re often tempted to do the same with our place in this world. In our natural narcissism, we often act as though we’re at the center of everything. We do what we want and if we think of God at all, we imagine that he exists for our purposes. This is certainly how we often pray. We fail to invest any time in our relationship with God for months or years, but when we’re in need we suddenly turn to him, begging for miraculous intervention. If things go our way, we give thanks to the Big Guy Upstairs. If they don’t go our way, we’re disillusioned because we thought he was supposed to give us whatever we wanted.

Today’s passage is one of those painful reminders of our place in the universe. In the passage, God observed that man was wholly evil and that no one followed him anymore. God once created man for his own purpose and pleasure – to live in an intensely personal and loving relationship with him. Man however, abandoned that relationship and lived only for himself. To this, God said, No. I’ve had enough. Then, God made a flood and wiped out most of mankind.

God created us for a relationship with him. That’s our purpose. Daily, we are meant to invest in that relationship. God made the world so that this works out in our favor as well. It’s only in a loving relationship with him that all our deepest needs are met because that’s how he made us. Our place in this world is to love God and follow his will, not our own. We exist for him, not the other way around. When we get that backwards, we make a terrible miscalculation regarding our place in this world.

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