Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?

It's time to take over the world!

I've been pondering Pinky and the Brain lately for a couple reasons. One, we bought the complete 3rd season for our family entertainment on our way to Florida. And two, I have lately been seeing a lot of the Brain in my children. Two of them in particular have developed the attitude of "Let justice be done, though the heavens fall!" And in their minds, justice always involves their vindication as being right and life, from the distribution of Power-Ade to the age at which a person can be compensated for mowing the grass must come out perfectly fair, lest the parental unit be accused of injustice. Moreover, since life is inherently unequal, the cry "It's not fair!" has become a relative constant at our house. Thus the similarity to the Brain, who thinks that all would be right with the world, if only he were King over it. My kids really do think that and long for the day "When I am grown up..." so that life will always bend their direction.

On further reflection though, I find the same dynamic at work in most of us. It's an election year, which means we are in the process of choosing which particular megalomaniac we like best, and which world altering vision we find most compatible with our own. Closer to home, we think that if only our vision for our homes, or our churches could be fully enacted, then all would be right and good. The problem is that all of us are like Kramer and George playing Risk in the classic Seinfeld episode: "Two people playing a game of world domination who can't even run their own lives." None of us is really capable of being fair or has any real sense of justice. Instead, what we are really after is a way of regularly tilting life our direction, of taking the world over and remaking it so that it pleases us.

But what's funny in a cartoon or a sitcom is frustrating and sad when I see it in my children and terrifying when given free reign in a government. Indeed, the desire for that kind of power goes back to the Garden and the Serpent's original lie: "You will be like the Most High." For that reason we must put to death the pride within us that drives us to make life bend our way and instead bend the knee to the only One who is truly just, and who set each person in the place He designed, according to his gracious and loving, but not fully "fair," plan and purpose.

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