by Jim Powers
American singer, songwriter and actress LeAnn Rimes recently released a new song, Spaceship. Rimes has struggled with depression and anxiety for years. The song could be an anthem for those who suffer from major depression.
While I’ve never struggled personally with major depression, I have years of confronting the struggle daily and have learned a lot about compassion and understanding others because of it. Check out the video of Rimes’ song on YouTube by searching for Leann Rimes Spaceship (brief nudity at the end).
Here’s the beginning lyrics to the tune:
No, I never felt like I belonged here
This world wasn't quite ready for me
Whoever's out there in the stratosphere
Got a question for the cosmic engineer
Is it all you believed it would be?
Hey God, why don't you take me home?
Beam me up, I got a ticket to board
Yeah, you know I'm coming home anyway
So, we might as well blast off today, for fun
I'm waiting on my spaceship to come
How much pain can we bear being human?
I'm pretty sure that my mission is done here
How much more, yeah, do you want from me?
Haven't I earned the right to be a nominee?
To float out past the Pleiades
Oh, no, you can't be that hard to please…
Leann Rimes is 40 years old. The insight and sentiment in the song sounds more like those of an old guy like me, not a middle age, very successful and talented singer. A lot of older people feel the same way, struggling to get by without the buffer that wealth can provide in old age. I have heard it many times, “God, surely I’ve done whatever you put me here to do, why don’t you take me home.” We can’t know the mind of God.
But I don’t really want to write about depression. I want to write about privilege and power. And the very common struggles of someone with privilege and power illustrate my topic well.
Many people, as we can tell from the popularity of TV preachers promoting the Prosperity Gospel, believe that acquiring wealth and success in life means that God loves them in a special way that He doesn’t others. They believe that money and success mean they have earned a place in the spiritual realm different than those of us who have lived average lives. That God bestows material wealth and success on those he loves most. And that that special position with God justifies their exercising power and control over mere humans. That God has given them a special wisdom to lord over other human beings.
But my Bible tells me that God has no favorites, bestows no special insight on anyone, sees every human being as special and important. The wealthy and powerful still suffer the calamities of the poor, despite the solid gold health care and living conditions that wealth provides. Wealth often fuels hubris, though, and we end up with politicians who believe only they have the truth. And that “truth” gives them the justification to tell others how they will live, what they will believe, who they will love, and the box they will spend their life in.
It's a lie. Ain’t nobody special. While we may never understand what purpose we were to accomplish by being put on this earth, we were not put here to rule over other humans. God makes it clear that He reserves that power to himself. Don’t give it to flawed human beings with overinflated opinions of their own superiority.
And whatever political party you ascribe to (a concept ridiculous to God, along with geographical borders), don’t forget to vote. If you really want one wealthy politician or another to control your life, at least pick them deliberately, don’t give them that power by default.