Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Say A Prayer...For the Pretenders

It is an undeniable fact of life that pretenders succeed. Pretenders create the impression that they know more than they do know, and that they have achieved more than they have. A long chain of such impressions, crafted for small cliques as much as large audiences, and fortified among persons who count, creates a reputation, which results in job offers, promotions, awards, and opportunities for genuine achievement, which, to be fair, pretenders use to actually become the persons they have pretended to be. If all goes well, the pretense eventually diminishes, the smoke and mirrors are stored away, and something authentic emerges.

Meanwhile, however, the honest, naive ones who never claimed to know what they did not know, who as freely revealed their failures as their triumphs, who never confidently proferred a dubious answer in the expectation that it would do no harm, or that it could be corrected easily enough later---the fate of such innocent souls is to fill out the lower reaches of their chosen occupations and courses of life.

On the whole, I have no quarrel with the pretenders. Perhaps nine-tenths of the practical good done in this world is done by them. And I may be a pretender myself. In the spiritual realm, however, the pretender's course does give me pause. For God cannot be impressed as humans can. His view of us will never be molded by the quiet little press releases we launch heavenward. He will not spread word of our faux excellence to His angels and His saints, there or here below. The pretender, being too-practiced in his arts, is in constant danger of getting ahead of himself, and of being painfully drawn back to who he truly is, by the one true God.

In the end, of course, all shall be well. In God's kingdom, the first shall be last, and the last first. This prophecy is often misunderstood. It does not mean that the last shall replace the first and that the first will be relegated to the back of the pack. It means that the very ordering of first and last shall be obliterated. All will stand and thrive together on a single, happy plain.

In the meantime, though, say a prayer...for the pretenders.

No comments:

Post a Comment