As our world and country reel from the unfolding pandemic crisis, social and political commentary is everywhere. Social commentators relay stories of everyday people doing extraordinary things during these trying times. Political commentators gives us a running tally of which leaders are making the problems worse or helping solve them.
Two things stand out to me in all this: as humans, we are created to worship, but we are not built to be worshiped. I believe these two truths are self-evident, but here’s my rationale. Each year, at baseball games all around the country, the athletes on the field are lauded by the fans in the stadium. It’s just natural…when we see something or someone impressive, we respond with applause and praise. We can’t help it. Likewise, during the current health crisis, we are naturally drawn to those who seem to know how to handle it, who bring a sense of peace to an otherwise chaotic and fearful situation.
We are created to worship greatness, on or off the field.
While we are created to worship, we are not built to be worshiped. Take those same athletes we praise for their performance on the field…stories abound of athletes who eventually fell from glory because of above-the-law behavior. In the same way, many politicians being chided for their poor handling of our current crisis were once praised for their political or financial greatness, leaving them to believe they were in some way, more than human. We simply aren’t built to be worshiped. We do not have the capacity to handle it.
Here’s the caution during this time. As we look for people to lead us through a global disaster, there is only so much they can do. No politician can solve this issue, no matter how calming his or her demeanor. No politician can avoid this issue, no matter how confident his or her demeanor. Whether we are looking for calm or confident, we look in the wrong place if we look merely at humans. Sure, God has given us humans to lead us through times like these, but we are rapidly seeing that humans have only so many answers. We must not worship the creation in this, but the creator, the only One who has the answers we seek.
Additionally, it is unfair and potentially disastrous to set up local, state, national, and world leaders as proxy saviors in all this. What will they think of themselves when this is over? Will they believe they are invincible? Will we overlook their faults because they helped us in a time of need? They aren’t built to be worshiped. Let’s respect them, no doubt, and follow the wisdom they line out for us. But let’s be careful to remember they are human and fallible and that only One deserves and is built for our worship.