When I was a youngster, says my cousin John, we had a minister who would go ballistic if anyone deigned to put a Bible on the ground. This fetish was particularly difficult to respect when (for example) we were sitting round a campfire. His reasoning was that this was the Word of God and should be respected as such. Today he would probably be mocked as an eccentric, but his vehemence on the issue has stuck with me all these decades on.
I find it poignant that, in an age when we take our scriptures so for granted an international incident was recently caused, not by the treatment of those human beings in custody, but rather by the lack of American respect for the Muslim Holy Book.
Maya Angelou said, “I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God’s will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed.” Perhaps in Hamlet’ss words, “Therein lies the rub.”
Time once was when we wrote every personal pronoun relating to God with a capital letter. When did God descend to the same level of personal pronouns as Robert Mugabe? Was it perchance when our societal affluence passed the point of having to ask the Almighty to give us our daily bread?
I do not advocate sackcloth and ashes or a period eating locusts and honey in the wilderness. Perhaps a bit more recognition that God is the giver of all things that we have might engender a bit more respect. I for one will still keep my Bible off the floor and I doggedly refer to His will in my life. Am I a dinosaur?
Written back in September 2006 and newly rediscovered.