Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Problem With Angels

I think that angels, those helpers of God, have created a problem, or put another way, our perception of angels has caused a problem for many of us. Close your eyes (oops! This is a blog, so you can't close your eyes yet!) and imagine God's army of angels surrounding you, protecting you from every hurt, every fall. We feel a sense of safety, knowing that we are surrounded by these servants of God. When we contemplate that image long enough, feeling the comfort and protection which it affords us, we might even tend to include God surrounding us, using His absolute power to shield us from harm.

For many, that is our image of how God protects us.

But the very model is wrong. It makes us the center of our own existence; it ensures that these heavenly beings, angels, and perhaps even God, serve me. Not even "us," but "me." When you think about putting ourselves in the center of that comfortable model, we realize first of all that there is no place for other people. They would need, of course, to be the center of their own existence; and taking this analogy further, that would mean that some of "my angels" were off track when they are attending to "your protection." You want to shout out, "Hey, what about me! You are supposed to protect me ... right?"


All creatures, especially you and I, are meant to turn our focus toward the real center, God, whose care and protection radiates from Him alone, and extends through the entire universe to each of His creatures. We, along with all the heavenly hosts, as the adopted sons and daughters of an all-powerful, all-loving, all-merciful God, are called to turn our focus upon God, our Creator, the source of all life, love; to the Trinitarian God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who has created us and adopted us as His beloved.

This shift in focus, the shift in the true center, corrects all the flaws in the "me-as-center" model. Just a few to consider:

  • I will look at material goods differently; they are now gifts, not goods, and offered for the common good of all God's Creatures.
  • I will look at my brothers and sisters differently; they are not competing with me for the attention of God and His angels, but instead cooperate with and join me in praising God as the source of all that is good.
  • I will look at how I spend time differently; "my efforts" are no longer focused on achieving "my success," but in humbly offering service to the one God from whom I receive everything and to whom I owe everything.
  • I will pray differently; fewer petitions will be about what "I need," instead with the realization that I have already been provided all that I need, I will ask instead for what those around me need. In short, I will become like the angels who serve God, and will look out for my fellow man, for my brothers and sisters.

So maybe, the problem isn't with angels. Maybe the problem is with me, and the solution is with God.

Now, close your eyes and think about it.

P.S.  I wonder if these occasional ramblings on this blog, "God of My Prayer," are useful. In one sense, I am compelled to write them out by my slowly maturing relationship with God. I would greatly appreciate any comments below with thoughts or topics you might suggest for future posts.   It remains my hope and prayer that these simple words are somehow doing His will, not mine.