Saturday, February 23, 2008

i think my power got shut off

In one of my classes this past Friday, we were discussing power. Mostly everyone in the class felt that money is power. I was so angry and frustrated at that assertation and belief. It cut me deep inside and I was seething. I could not express all I wanted to correctly. I felt like I wanted to leave out and just get away from that. I was wondering where Jesus was in all this? I never said that directly because how do you communicate that to a class full of people? I mean, I do not agree that money is power because Jesus is power to me. Also, the full meaning of that to me is that money is good and whoever has it gets to be in charge and that they are better. My family doesn't have money, I have no money ever... I really am pretty darn sure I will never have a surplus of cash either. It's not a goal. It's not important. Does that mean I have no power? In this class, i felt so frustrated completely I was physically uncomfortable. I looked around and realized that very few people are operating on the same system of life that I am. Jesus. Jesus is my operating system. It changes EVERYTHING. Money is no power because money is an earthly thing. The power in this world is usually corrupt and abused. Jesus is the power. God created all these people and their stuff and can blot us out in an instant. That's power. But I felt weird, like how do I communicate with these people that notion of power. In one of my other classes, I mentioned during a presentation that I was a Christian and that that identity colors everything I do and say and want. I feel like my credibility to speak to issues is lost in that class now. Some of the people that I was buddies with, don't really seem to speak to me as much or joke around with me anymore. In most of my classes, race and class and systems of government or hierarchy are discussed. I am a sociology major and my college was awarded the title of most diverse college in America two times in a row by some Harvard research organization so they work issues of diversity into every single class. SO I am constantly discussing these issues... Of the ideas and arguments and work it takes to be a part of this ongoing discussion. I feel like I am overstimulated with hard issues of God, religion, race, power, government, belief, ideology. I dont want to discuss it all anymore. Where is all this discussion leading anyway? I guess maybe money is power. Maybe thats why I was so frustrated, I dont want it to be that way. I don't really like most of the people I meet with lots of money and them having all the power leaves me and everyone else I know and like out in the cold. The implications of all those people in power freaks me out. If I agree that money is power than i am agreeing I have no power. Power to do what? Maybe sin is the power....

7 comments:

Noel Edwin Cisneros Ritter said...

Wow, Sarah, great thoughts. I agree that there is something sickening about this world's power system. In our world power involves money, class, race...I see it clearly when a police officer in North Lawndale pulls Ashley and I over for being there. I did not feel threatened or talked down to, in fact the police officer actually gave us his cell phone after learning where we live to "call him if anyone messes with us" Those who live in Chicago know that would never happen if I was black...or poor.

But you are right, God's power system is completely different. Some describe it as the upside-down Kingdom, the Meek inherit the earth, blessed are the poor, and God chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. You want to see the Kingdom, to see power, look atthe 12 men that He chose to follow him, look at the people that Jesus hung out with, the prostitutes, the sinners, the tax collectors, drunks, and fisherman. God chose these people to change the world. He didn't choose the rich, those with good resumes, those with connections, royalty, the religious elite.....He choose people we would think of as weak. Yes this world's power system is strong, we see it in our neighborhoods, the justice system, education.. the list goes on. But as followers of Jesus we know that power comes in the simple prayer "your Kingdom come"

I love this blog, thanks for your thoughts, thanks for letting me share mine, I might post this on my blog.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Bed #54 - My Short Stint in Immersion Journalism

Aaron said...

Sarah,
Ahhhh!!! I feel you! If there is anything that gets me going it is the power structures that seem to invade our whole life. I hate it.

There are times when I look to the sky and say out loud... God why don't you bring down these powers that so blatantly contradict Your kingdom?

I still don't have the answer. On your blog before this one you quoted a portion of Shane Claiborne's book that I think fits perfectly with my question towards God. So that is what I do. I keep being about justice in my community and hope that the church as a whole catches the vision and begins to make it a mandate to fight for justice. Oh what a day that will be when the church fights for justice and not call in "liberal theology" or a "social gospel."

Let it be so.... Let it be so!!!

Marquis said...

Sadly, the truth is that money is power and without it you can do nothing at least to the carnal man.

Actually, let me say that money is not what drives this corrupt world. What does the surplus of wealth state from one human being to another? A sense of superiority... a sense of pride. Everyone who hasn't been freed from the power of sin (and some who have!)doesn't realize that they aren't king of their lives. They are king and everyone else needs to realize that.

I would have to agree with you aaron you cries for God to just swoop down and established His kingdom.

I do pose you a question concerning your fight for justice by which means do you think a Christian should do that? I agree that a Christian should "fight" for justice but the means that I have seen Christians fight for it don't differ from the world's way of doing it. I think the fight for justice should be done exactly the way we spread God's fame, the preaching of the gospel because only by a heart change can we see true justice.

Anonymous said...

Money is power.

If you have money then you can decide what you want to do in life.

If you do not have much money then life decides for you what it wants to do with you.

Oria said...

Great work.