The wren (tinny bird) the Germans call “Fence-King.” His chirping sounds like “I am king.” The only place the bird can be a king is by sitting on fences. The wren is not narcistic. It is its nature. Unlike the bird, we humans are wrapped in narcism or narcissism. It is excessive self-love and importance. I was nine years old when Stalin traded us to Hitler and we were indoctrinated into the glorious Third Reich. It was Germany over everything in the world. No nose could have been higher than a German nose. Five short years and that glory turned into ashes. Germans were no longer proud of being Germans.
What about the Glory of the U.S.A.? Every nation needs some pride, but can it be excessive? This nation has distinguished itself as a defender of freedom and justice more so abroad than at home. With it came a sense of superiority and perhaps a bit excessive self-glory. Our present President has indicated that the pride – filled glory days may be vanishing. Still there is a persistent belief that the U.S.A. is the greatest and the richest nation on earth. Just how reasonable is such a belief? Perhaps we should ask, “When shall we come to our senses?”
Nations that have loaned us money already know that we maintain a faked self esteem. We have elected people into offices that have mismanaged our resources, human and material. We have dug in the Arab world for fuel but not at home. We have aborted fifty million babies that could have paid the Social Security for the baby – boomers. Now we do not want the Mexicans to come and help us pay our debts and sustain our nation. Instead we allow people to settle that will not abide by our laws. We do not have enough tax- payers to sustain an overpaid government, an army to fight a war not our own, an armament that cannot compete even against a sword. We have out-managed, out-spent and out-smarted ourselves. We have, what the Preacher called, “vanity” (Ecc.1: 2).
The prophet Ezekiel was among the captives that were taken to Babylon. He saw his nation in ruins. The narcism of David and Solomon had ended in shame. Could we possibly learn from them where self-glory can lead to? God’s message to Ezekiel was: “I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I the Lord have spoken” (5: 14-15). How unlikely has the message to Ezekiel become for us? Just how close are we to John’s prediction of a Babylon (a nation) that is about to fall (Rev.18)?