So I’m sitting out on the back porch the other morning, just enjoying the sun coming up and watching a few leaves fall to the ground, having my usual one-sided conversation with God.
I’m just yakking away as I normally do, when next thing I know, I hear this voice beside me say, “Surprise!”
I look over, and there he sits, long white hair, white beard, the flowing robes...I said, “You don’t look like George Burns at all!”
Suddenly he morphs into George Burns and I say, “Ew, no, go back...” and poof! Presto-chango, he’s back to looking like the picture books.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” I ask, sipping my coffee.
“Girl, you prattle on like Lucy Ricardo, yakety yak, all morning long. If you think I don’t hear you, you’re wrong. I hear you all the time — you’re like that scene out of ‘The Music Man’ where all the old birds are gossiping,” and he starts flapping his big sleeves and his voice goes up a couple of octaves. “Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, pickpickpick talk a lot talk a little little....”
I laugh cause I never thought he would have any clue as to the stuff that goes on down here.
“That’s pretty good! How do you know that one?” I ask.
“Oh, that Robert Preston, he’s one of the best actors. I really like him. He’s a swell guy. Sings all the time up there,” he responds, pointing up.
I’m in awe. Robert Preston, goofing around “up there”... how cool.
“Now, tell me what it is you really want. That’s why I’m here,” he says, looking at his watch, “I’ve only got a couple of minutes cause I need to be somewhere else right quick.”
“Okay,” I say pertly, putting down my coffee cup, “I just have a couple of basic questions.”
“Shoot,” he says, indicating with his hand for me to begin.
“OK. Why do people think you don’t exist?”
“’Cause they don’t have faith. Either that or they’re stupid. Next question.”
“Why do people blame you when bad things happen to them? And why do people preach that you are some vengeful God?”
“Oh heck, are you worried that it hurts my feelings or something?”
“Well, kinda. What’s the deal behind all that?”
“Simply put? Fear. Fear of the unknown. People preach that I throw down bolts of lightning because that’s how they use their will over others. By instilling fear. If they knew the real me, however, they’d know that I am the greatest jokester of all time. People on this planet take life way too seriously.”
“That’s another thing I wanted to bring up. What are we supposed to be doing? Are we supposed to sacrifice and suffer, or what? I’m pretty confused about all that.”
He stood up and started pacing, reminding me a bit of Einstein, wagging his finger up in the air.
“There should be no confusion. This is the easy-peasiest thing. I created you in my image, right? Why the heck would I want to sacrifice, suffer, be miserable? I want to have fun. I have fun all the time. That’s what you guys should be doing,” he said, looking me square in the eye and jabbing his finger in the air, “you should be enjoying the heck out of the short time you have here. I didn’t put great works of beauty here to go unappreciated. I didn’t create all these great chefs and cooks and pastry makers so you could just eat oatmeal. I didn’t put grapes on the vine merely for the birds to pick at — although I know they appreciate it — those grapes are there for a reason. You want to be miserable? Be miserable. You want to be poor? Be poor. You want to be sick and ill and unhealthy? Go ahead — be my guest. Is that what I would want if I were down here? Of course not! I made your brains the most advanced system on this planet. If you want something, think about it! Focus on it. You wanna be rich? Think about it. Plan it out. Focus on it. Bring it to you. If you do not ask for it, how do you expect to get it? You want all the bad stuff? You got it. If that’s all you think about, then that’s all you’re gonna get.”
He heaves a big sigh and sits down.
I sit back, feeling a bit stunned. Holy Moses.
“And yes, by the way, he was,” he says, waggin’ that finger again.
“So, what’s the real deal with Jesus then? Was he really your son? Did he have to die the way he did? Did he die for our sins or what?”
He folded his arms across his chest and shook his head, a wry smile on his face. Then he nodded quickly.
“In a way, yes. Yeshua was one of the few who ‘got it.’ He knew the deal. He was using his mind all the time, and knew how to convey what I wanted you guys to understand. Those danged Romans, though...,” he clucks his tongue, “and never mind how he was treated by his own people.
They all thought he was up in the night … loco.”
He stood up again and said, “I thought the way they nailed him to the cross was pretty harsh, but that was a brutal time anytime. We were still trying to figure out what we could do to push you guys ahead, to make you be a more loving society. Be good to each other, that sort of thing.
That’s all I really wanted. But you’re all my sons and daughters. He just happened to the one who ran the gauntlet. Did he die for your sins?
Weeelllll ... hmm. Sinning is a tough one. Not living the right way could be considered a ‘sin,’ that’s why we put together those 10 commandments.
We actually had about 35, but we figured you couldn’t handle much more than ten. It’s a guideline. If you live your lives according to the guidelines I set out for you, you shouldn’t have any trouble. It’s when you start over-doing things that you get caught up in messy situations. I don’t punish you for sins. You do that to yourselves with guilt. Don’t punish yourselves. Just...just turn it around, and start doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Use your brains. All I want is for you guys to have fun. Enjoy this short little life. You get to come back as often as you want, but enjoy it for now. Be grateful. Show your gratitude by saying ‘Thanks, God’ once in a while. That feels good. The most important thing I want for you to feel in your lives is joy. Happiness. You create it, though, not me. When you feel happy and joyful, then we’re in sync.
“Hey, you guys can have whatever you want, as long as you believe you can have it. If you doubt it for two seconds, you push it away from you. You don’t have to take anything away from anyone, just decide what you want, focus on, put it in your mind, and let it start going to work for you. If you don’t use that brain of yours, you’re wasting a valuable instrument. Its potential is limitless. Got it?”
“I think so.”
“Good. Thinking is the first step. Don’t think dumb things, think good things. And by the way, I do not twitch my nose or fold my arms bob my head. Doesn’t work that way, but it would be nice.”
“And also, if you want a million bucks? Start thinking about it. Focus on it. I’ll see what I can do.”
I grinned at him.
“Hey, thanks God.”
“You’re welcome. Oooh. That felt good. Next time, do it with feeling. Remember, Lucy - believe, and have faith. It will all work out.”
“You rock, dude.”
“I know. Gotta run. Someone in Congress needs a ‘heads up’....”.
“Good luck with that.”
He fist-bumps me and is gone in a “ping” of white light.