One Rod, Many Gods

God pointing

I guess I’ll never get it right: 
what God’s wrong and what God’s right

At 10 I knew which one He was: 
the One and only One
at that bright age there’s no trick— 
He’s half carrot and half stick: 
say your prayers and go to church 
and He’ll never leave you in the lurch. 

But soon I learned that I was wrong:
    If I were oh so good and strong— 
        I still was born in sin (you see?)
            and that’s why Jesus died for me.
I’d bypass hell by trusting Him
because he paid for all that sin.. 

The Godly barter seemed alright,
    though more in theory than in life,
        so—for a decade God seemed swell
            (if I didn’t study Him too well).
                 Besides, shouldn’t thoughts of God
                      be separate from your fun and job? 

But my brain
         —whether nuts
                  or theological— 
                        obsessed about a God more logical
            so I finally quit fooling around 
and tried to pin the real God down: 

Jesus loved me, this I knew 
for the Bible sure was true— 
           (a thought to which I still had clung, 
           and on which so many happy sermons hung) 
                     so I dug into the sacred text. 
                     That only made Him more complex!  

The Holy Book we’d always read 
showed God preferred bad people dead
          but if you were Solomon you could bed 
          a thousand women without dread. 
                   This God disturbed me through and through. 
                   (Ugh! He might kill your children too!) 

there were many ways to learn
and I tried lots, turn by turn.
Buber, Crossan, Borg and Spong
I forget…..
the list is long

                There’s God of Process, God of Mind, 
          God of almost any Kind:
     History, Mystery, Cosmic God,  
  God Conformist, God the Odd. 
God in All or God in Me… 
how many Gods can there be? 
 He could be a She or Us, 
   Or Hold us all, just like a bus. 
       I could be a deist or a pantheist,  
           a zoist or an animist. 
                I could be any “–ist” at all 
                      —like picking God out at the mall. 

                      Look for One God and you find 
                      so Many that it blows your mind ! 

I could keep my childhood God
      or whatever appealed to grown-up Rod.
             I was worried I would lose 
                     something (like…my soul?),
       I just couldn’t choose
             the One that seemed to be for me,
                       sooo ………………
I simply let Him be. 

when I think more thoughtfully 

I see two jumbly parts of me 
          …one part that thinks religiously 
          …one part that lives quite godlessly, 
    and since I cannot choose the God 
    who fits my head and fits my job, 
                  for now I’ll leave Them All  up on the shelf 
                  and trek through life all myself

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One Rod, Many Gods — 6 Comments

  1. Shape, progression, message, all work well. I love the shelf image under the text! This is delightful and full of movement and simple complexity. LOVE it!

  2. My sentiments practically (not exactly). I could say, “been there, done that,” but, I have to say, “been there,DOING that!” This is a poem that doesn’t really end. If it’s not too presumptuous to suggest a post script, it would say, “Tune in next week..” I know you better since we’ve been in the same writing class and I believe you are still on that journey.

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