An image of God I’ve been running up against lately is “God the CEO”. In this view, God isn’t quite as far removed from our daily lives as with Deism (in which God is the Watchmaker Who started off the universe and now lets it run its course: perhaps observing, but never intervening). God the CEO is tremendously busy, running the universe, fielding prayer requests, and fixing up our mess-ups. He’s got a trillion things to do, all of them more important than my petty concerns, so it’s best not to bother Him.
Now, Freud’s theory is that God is an illusion created by man: He is simply my earthly father writ large and projected onto the faceless cosmos. His knowledge, power, ability to punish and reward, and other awe-inspiring qualities are inflated versions of fatherly qualities as the latter would appear to a small child. The societal benefits of such a belief is to keep us morally in line even as grown-ups: kids can get candy, computer time, and fun activities as rewards; and time-outs, loss of privileges, or spanking as punishments, whereas adults get Heaven or Hell.
Naturally, Christians reject Freud’s belief that God is a human, fictional construct. Once we have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and through Him to the Father, we experience that God is far more wonderful than any human father – however marvelous – could ever be. Christians have experienced God’s overwhelming goodness and love – overwhelming even in its glimmering hints here on Earth, not too mention “the glory to be revealed” (Rom 8:18) in Heaven. Even what “we see indistinctly, as in a mirror” is dazzling; how will the “face to face” be (1 Cor 13:12)?
On the practical level, however, many Christians who’ve experienced God’s awesomeness are still influenced by the Deist or Freudian versions of God. They’ve made Him finite: really, really big, but still finite. To do this is to miss that infinity isn’t just “bigger” than finitude: it’s an entirely different order of being. Such a mindset is revealed in statements like, “I’m fine with praying for other people’s needs, but not my own.” Or, “God’s got bigger things to worry about than my problems. So many people have it worse than I do.”
As noted above, this stance assumes that God, as the Celestial CEO, has a limited amount of time and energy and attention to devote to an enormous number of demands. Just as only the most important concerns go to the Big Cheese, and only the higher-ups get an audience with him, so God can only attend to the Really Big Issues, and has time only for Really Holy People. Out of a misguided humility, then, I’ll try to handle my problems as best I can, myself; I don’t like to bother Him; who do I think I am, anyway?
Less obvious manifestations of making God a larger-than-life CEO, perhaps more common to Catholics than other Christians, involve little expectation that God would actually speak in my heart or work miracles in answer to my prayers: “That’s for saints, and I’m no saint!” Non-Christians may reinforce this stance: “Do you think you have a personal pipeline to God?” One secular musician satirized the idea of absolute religious truth in a song, “I Know What God Likes”, along the lines of “God likes Republicans/the military/guns/the South/Christians”: implying that to claim divine revelation (public or private) is simply arrogant and ignorant.
But God is not a CEO. He is infinite. His power, love, mercy, goodness, energy, and attention are not divided. All of Who He is and has are exclusively, completely, constantly focused on you. His radiance and majesty are all for you. At the same time – because He is infinite – His attention, love, goodness, power, etc. are exclusively, constantly, etc. focused on me; and on all those you and I love, hate, and are indifferent to. You are, at the most practical level, the only person in His gaze and in His heart. He loves only you; gave His Son for you alone for you alone; delights in you alone; wants to reveal all that He is and wants to only you; infinitely desires only your attention, time, trust, love; mind, body, and soul. And so for every person, ever.
So – “BOTHER” Him with your petty concerns, with the least little problem you have. Expect Him to speak to your heart; to work miracles in your life, and, through you, in others’ lives. Bask in His attention and love. You do have a personal pipeline to God: so does anyone who receives Him. Immerse yourself and all those He puts on your heart in the ocean of His goodness: it’s all for you; it’s all for each one of them.
God the CEO wants to meet with you; He wants you to move into the executive suite; you are His right-hand man or woman. As with Charley in “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, He wants you to have it all: the whole company, the whole inheritance, the works. “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Ps 81:10).