The Humble Anonymity of God

One of the things that bugs me, and has bugged me for years, is when people attribute something that I believe is the work of God to someone or something else.  Some examples:

  • when someone talks about looking for their life’s calling, and phrase it as “what yourlife is calling you to do,”
  • when someone talks about listening to “the universe” for answers to a question,
  • when someone outlines a process where you describe a problem at one point in time (e.g., in the morning), then at a later point (e.g., in the evening) listen to or read your description and you receive an answer to the problem “because you are really conversing with someone much wiser and saner as you write: your authentic self.”

I don’t want to diminish or dismiss the ability that humans have, the role we play, in creative output of all kinds.  I do believe that humans can and do create (albeit in a qualitatively different manner, being a rearrangement of what exists, from God’s ex nihilo creating).  But to me it’s a mystery to describe where all new ideas come from.  Maybe new ideas are spontaneously (?) generated within the human heart/mind/soul, at least some of the time.  But I have to believe that some of the time (how much of the time?) God actually drops ideas, solutions, into our heads.  He provides guidance to us.  He comforts us, “reminds us of the truth,” leads us in the way everlasting, etc.  I don’t know exactly where that ends, and where independent information, creditable to us as humans and not (or at least less) to God’s activity within us.

And ultimately, if there’s an area that is in any way “gray” concerning when we should credit God vs. crediting ourselves, or some semi-anonymous pseudo-entity, I want to err in the direction of giving God more credit.

What’s amazing to me is that God, who is obviously doing far more than we give Him credit for, doesn’t express some displeasure at being ignored in this.  He continues to serve us with creativity, guidance, teaching, and love, whether we acknowledge His work or not.