It’s easy for us to forget that our lives are brimming with possibilities and buzzing with potential when all we see is the mundane. As humans, our institutions and our systems kneel at the altar of Order and Logic, and try to convince us to kowtow to them as well. We are forced into rigid rows and columns; sometimes metaphorically, other times we are LITERALLY placed inside a row of cubes.
These cube-filled monoliths stand tall and watch over the city; replacing the color in our lives with beige so we don’t get distracted from our work. The joy and the mystery of our lives are removed, and in exchange, we are given comfort and predictability. And we begin to believe that it’s a fair trade. Safety and security replaces our faith and who we believe God to be changes with it.
Our idea of God becomes part of the Beige Tyranny. God is an accountant. He’s in heaven, surrounded by the same beige walls we are, and he’s compiling our tab with cold, hard numbers. He adds everything up, and our eternity is decided by whether we’re in the red or in the black. And so we get ground down, one day at a time until the part of us that used to swear we would never turn out this way genuinely forgets that there was ever any other way to live.
But God isn’t an accountant in Heaven, recording our actions. He’s a revolutionary; a bad-ass on a motorcycle. He’s waging war on the Beige Tyranny, with art and color and relationships and stories. He’s whispering into the ears of the people, reminding them of what they’ve lost. He’s spraying the dusky sky with neon orange and pink to remind us what beauty looks like. He shocks our heart with electricity when the person we love touches us.
We sit in our beige boxes, staring dully at the TV. There’s an earth-shaking roar, and everything shakes. We look up from where we’re cowering on the floor, and God is in the middle of our living room sitting on a Harley. Through the hole he created we can see the electric blue sky, hear the birds singing and smell the sweet scent of honeysuckle on the breeze. We look up and into his face, and he smiles warmly and reaches a hand out to us.
“Let’s ride”, he says.
None of the Beige Tyranny’s teachings prepared us for this. There are no action plans, no SLA to determine how to properly respond to this. And yet, from somewhere deep down inside of us, we hear the answer immediately. We stand up, dust ourselves off, and get onto the back of his bike because we can’t imagine ever doing anything else.