"God presides in the great assembly; . . . renders judgment among the 'gods'... I said 'You are gods,' But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler." - Psalm 82:1,6-7 (NIV)
In establishing what is known as the Crown Forum at Morehouse College, Dr. Howard Thurman declared: "Over the heads of her students, Morehouse holds a crown that she challenges them to grow tall enough to wear."
God has placed a crown, a calling over each of our heads that is even more encompassing than that of Morehouse fame. God has declared that we are gods! Made in God's image, endowed with God's presence and empowered to live by God's authority.
But growing tall enough to actually become the persons we are declared to be is the great challenge.
The Crown of Life always entails the responsibility to protect and defend the lives of others - especially the weak and the marginalized. When the gods of Israel failed to uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed they abdicated their divine destiny, reneged on their divine responsibility and embraced the mortal fate of other unjust rulers.
Unrealized potential is the ongoing lament of life. To die needing something that was within your grasp. To live under the weight of a problem that you could have developed the courage and the capacity to solve. To go through life without ever realizing who you were created to be.
Marianne Williamson must have been speaking to a group of gods when she said:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us..."
God, help me to become the god you made me. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.