Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 4, 2004
Divine seeds grow greatness or ruin
By FR. RON ROLHEISER, omi
We're unique, precious, have meaning, and are made for a special destiny.
But this sense of being special doesn't just set off holy and altruistic energies inside us. It also inflames us with narcissism, grandiosity, a sense of entitlement, jealousy, rage, boredom, restlessness and (ironically) the sense that God does not exist.
Put into simple language, there's something inside us that says: "If I'm in the image of God then I too have a right to be the centre of the universe, I too have a right to be an object of supreme adoration, and I too am entitled to drink in everything, own everything, and sleep with everyone. And, if I'm nearly a god myself, why do I need to believe in any God beyond me?"
We all struggle with this, whether we admit it or not. It's when we don't admit it that we become most bitter in life.
We get a privileged glance into this struggle when we look at the lives of many artists, pop stars, intellectuals, and other high-achievers. Often what's evident in the life of such a person is that, first, he or she is highly attuned to creative energy, to what's divine inside the world. However, often times he or she is also a person who has to struggle, simply to fit into the flow and the discipline of everyday life, to be "normal." The person is often too, by that exact same energy, driven towards addictions, jealousy, pathological disquiet, deadly boredom, the rejection of God, and sometimes, sadly, towards self-destruction.
And this kind of struggle should not be seen simplistically as the result of somebody being a spoiled brat, a child-deity in a high-chair, who's never had to discipline himself or herself to fit in with the rest of the human race. What's illustrated rather is a universal struggle, just more clearly choreographed, to live out the fact that we're made in God's image and likeness.
We're born into this world with divine fires inside us. Inside those fires lie seeds of every kind, both for self-destruction or for greatness.
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