If I were king of the world
My first official act
Would be to resign as king
It is a common fantasy to be a powerful ruler so that you could enact your will over others. This short poem is a simple, straightforward, and absolute condemnation of such “Lording over” others. This is a variant on the theme of absolute power corrupting absolutely. The temptation to use such great power is strong, even if for just a little while, to get a few very important things done. The essential problem is that any monarchical will over others cannot escape the larger reality that a mass veto of the masses’ will is inherently anti-democratic, even if done with perfect motives. Surely a beneficent king is better than a cruel and selfish king. Nonetheless, monarchical power is inherently illegitimate; that is if you ascribe to democracy and power of the people. The point is not to have monarchical rule!
I suspect that I will never have to deal directly with the temptation of being king. Still, the sin of “Lording over” others exists at both large and small scales, and we all confront such temptations. For Christians, even the “Lord” Jesus didn’t “Lord over” others. Instead, Jesus was a servant leader, leading by example as a servant. Though this seems to be a lesson oft forgotten by many Christians.
Jesus incarnated God’s nature as a host ever-inviting others into fuller and more mature relationships, which are dynamic and respectful (reverent). God’s edicts, as contained in the rules of creation, are a framework within which to experience these relationships, and these rules are “subjects” to God’s will and character. Legalisms, which make easy prey of any ideological system, are not the end of “good governance.” Whether mistaking the sum total of reality as the laws of nature discernible through science, or the legalisms of political or religious elites, we should not make the mistake of worshiping the created over the creator. Reducing God to a set of rules is deeply pathetic, imprisoning the Creator in a box and pinning ourselves to design specs falling far short of our full capabilities. God is more, and so are we. May you experience the “moreness” of God and yourself, in an ever-deeper and maturing way.