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He's Got Potential -- Writer's Poke #114

For Writers:

Making reference to God, a character in a Sherman Alexie short story quips, “He’s got potential.” In this case, “potential” acts as a noun, and it’s an absolutely brilliant way to describe God.

On one level, it suggests that God has the ability to continue to grow, to develop. How can that be? Can a perfect, omniscient being – and the creator of “everything,” grow? After all, when you’ve done it all, what more is possible?

Another interpretation of “potential” is even more fun, suggesting that God doesn’t yet exist, but could, assuming the conditions were just right. Well, why not? The tiny human brain assumes that everything must have a beginning, and so why should God be any different? Instead of simply assuming that God has always existed, why not accept that God will, perhaps, exist?

Some day.

If the existence of God were linked to how you used your potential, would it change how you lived your life? Why or why not?

“It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God.” -- Mary Daly


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