We all have co-workers; we have many kinds of co-working relationships. Some of our work relationships are supposed to be egalitarian, most are not nonetheless. Co-working has many ramifications; not all of us are good at it. Remember the scores we got on our report cards for "Works well with others"? I don't remember what my scores were; I was always concerned with my "regular subjects."
Now, we believers have a Co-Worker who is omnipotent and we are in a whole new league.
How does one work with the Omnipotent? Søren Kierkegaard said it well—"in blessedness and terror." It's not easy to partner with the Omnipotent, it's hard enough to partner with a near-equal. But God is omnipotent and we are able to do nothing at all.
But we find that almost impossible to live with. There is such a lot riding on the thing—our standing in the community, for instance. No one likes to think he is going to be shown out to be the incompetent—the lazy one—the one who cannot pull one's own weight. I know I don't like being the person who cannot interface successfully with the business world, but whether I like it or not I am that person. Mind you, I am very good at doing quite a few things—but I am not capable of turning those skills into money. It's just not in my character.
I run out of money and the bills pile up. Then, after struggling with guilt and shame and fighting with myself about whether I should beg donations for my volunteer web work, I finally go ahead and beg and feel bad for asking for a love-gift. When I stop and think I recollect all the things I did out of love for my web people. I put my passion into their web sites and hoped they would not think I was doing it for gain, and I wasn't … or was I? I was really doing it to gain their love, to hoodwink them into loving me if I may be so frank. Ha. And I was doing it all without regard for my omnipotent Co-Worker, or without much regard. Doing God's work without noticing Him. If I thought of Him at all it was a fast and fleeting thought, because I am good at fixing up web sites and I am good at fixing them fast. I love doing that and I love having people say, "Joe sure knows a lot about web stuff."
And so, I am an example of a person—as most of us are—who is not good at working well with others, particularly our Omnipotent Other. We think we are good alone, or no-good alone—but alone nonetheless. Because we forgot we have an omnipotent Co-Worker.
Kierkegaard went on to say, "if he is your co-worker, you are able to do everything." And so, there is a paradox to add to our body of paradox that is the Christian life.
God is omnipotent. We are powerless.
God is our Co-Worker. We are empowered.
It's a hard road but we must walk it out. We have to bear it in mind one hundred percent of the time. We must never let it slip away … but we do. And when it slips away, not only do we get off-balance, but we begin to imagine we are alone; He is nowhere to be found. It's a falsehood but then we would often rather believe falsehoods.
We have to go down spiralling, tailspinning, grasping at our phantom ripcords. We have to get confused—can't see which way is up, in order to right ourselves.
God is omnipotent, but not seen. None of our kin have seen Him. But somehow or another we know, and must believe that He is the only One we can surrender to. And so we do.