I sat in the waiting room tapping my foot with anticipation. How many opportunities does one get. I was meeting my maker. I can’t deny a little apprehension. After all, the few people who supposedly ever talked to God tells a story of a burning bush that could have a been a bad trip on shrooms or living in a cave alone for fifteen years.
The room itself was relatively plain. The secretary had long wavy brown hair that framed her face. Her eyes sparkled something serene accentuating a sort of knowing smile. Her clothes were pristine lacking any wrinkles and clinging to her frame perfectly. Her wings, if she had any were not apparent. With the name on the plate on her granite desk one could only assume she was that namesake a Seraphim.
The pictures on the walls were unexpected. It consisted of all man made structures: the pyramids, the great wall of china, the statue of liberty, the twin towers, the titanic and many others. In a waiting room for god I would expect to see pictures of lush forests, snow capped mountains, the grand canyon or Niagara falls. You know, Gods planet and a reflection of his deed, not the representation of man made objects. As a parent though I guess I understood. I know what I’ve done but don’t display it, I’ve seen it. The things that I post are the creations of my children and has a different sense of pride attached. That or all this was to make me feel comfortable and at ease.
The magazines left around were things like national geographic, Christianity today, or self improvement magazines. There was not highlights or tabloids or popular mechanic. No sports illustrated or computer shopper.
Not interested in the magazines I thought more about the upcoming meeting. There were rules you see. Only one question could be asked. Period. Rebuttals would have to be worded as statements so you really had to think before you spoke. If you asked more then one the meeting would end. I wondered if this was because he was busy or just maybe limiting so much knowledge to each client. That would lead to sharing knowledge throughout the world, which God should already know that humans didn’t share power easily.
This to me seemed to appear more like my idea that from a religious standpoint humans were pieces on a chess board. On one end, God’s King piece was Jesus and on the other was Satan’s Antichrist in which the face was constantly changing.
I started to get a tad nervous as the time went on. In a situation like this you decide on a question and a million more can be asked all seeming better then the one before it. My time was coming and I couldn’t pick a question. Could I trick God with one question? Probably not.
I felt my resolve harden as the Seraphim spoke. “He will see you now.” Her voice was like music, the reverberation of her words bringing almost a calming effect that probably helped the resolve. I wondered if angels sounded that way or if this was a projection of my mental image of what they should be like.
Standing, I brushed myself off. This was it. Moving to the door I felt myself grow angry. Why should i be angry? At the door I paused for a deep breath and turned the long gold handle of the giant wooden double door and went inside. The room itself was about twenty foot in diameter, round with white walls. Nothing else ordained the walls or the large white desk in the middle which God sat behind. I laughed inside because part of me expected to see Morgan Freeman or George Burns. Looking around the room and then at God with is white hair and suit sitting behind his desk I felt like Neo talking to the Architect in the Matrix Reloaded.
For a while I didn’t say anything. Just stared, looking to find answers without asking questions.
“You seem uneasy my child.” Hm, he really did talk like that.
I was about to ask, ‘wouldn’t you be,’ but caught myself. It would suck to get this far and burn up the only question I could ask for sarcasm. “I’m sure you could imagine the reason.”
“I can,” he smiled . I would ask you to relax as not everybody gets an opportunity like this.” That seemed a little less comforting then it was probably intended.
For some reason I felt more tense and he seemed to try and be more comforting but the results seemed to make him more annoyed. That could mean he was a little uneasy himself so it was time to play the game.
“With the fact that I’m standing here in front of you would illustrate one of two possibilities. One, I’m dreaming or two, I’m awake. As I don’t care one way or another the question of whether any of this is real quickly becomes invalid. If it is real I would hate wasting my question on that and if it’s not it doesn’t matter if I ask it or not. So even with the possibility of me dreaming I’ll move on as if it’s real because I really have nothing to lose.”
He stared there, knowing I was over thinking things but I wasn’t to concerned. It was obvious I was probably trying to be more clever then I should be and take it in stride but I like to cover my bases.
“I guess there really is a lot I can ask. The list in my head keeps generating new ones as the clock ticks on. There are questions on many different things. Our place in existence or evolution for that matter.” “Quite frankly I have a hard time believing in Big Bang because of two gaps. Science today would have us believe that you can’t take nothing and create something. If you say it started from something else it had to come from somewhere meaning the question of where all this came from still remains unanswered.”
“But what of intelligent design?” he asked with a strange smirk.
“Clever wording by religious zealots trying to force beliefs into the education system.” I was starting to feel my zone now. He was gearing towards something now but I was willing to play the game.
“So you don’t believe your schools should teach of my word?” For somebody who only allowed one question he sure asked a lot.
“I think religion is a personal thing and school is a public institution designed to give people skills necessary to communicate and function in civilization and economy and if they want to learn of God or you they should go to church, another separate institution designed for that purpose.”
“But you indicated that you have somewhat of a spiritual side but you don’t attend church.”
“I have an opinion. Your book was written so long ago that dialect and the fact that it needed to be translated to different languages redefining the context from language to language guarantees a new result especially when controlled by mankind. At this point I believe we can only find out for ourselves what we think the meaning is not have somebody tell us what he thinks it means.”
“What does the bible mean to you then child,” he asked with a frown.
“I think it is convoluted crap written by the hand of men who sought control of a group and capitalized by exploiting the ideas and religious sensibilities of others to place them in control and sacrificed the true idealist and nailed him to a cross.”
“You don’t believe in the testament of Christ?”
“I think from the stories he must have been a good man that people understood and believed so much that they idolized him like a modern day Jim Morrison or Martin Luther King Jr. He preached an idea and people believed it. Over time however, every story takes on aspects and ideas of those telling it.”
There was a crease now in his brow. Maybe disheartened a little. I had just taken a millennia worth of gospel and metaphorically wiped my ass with it.
“So how do you feel about that?” he asked.
“I think if I’m expected to have faith in something I should be given a reason. Like my sons who look to me to learn and take care of them, should have faith that I will always be there. I, in turn have to be there to give them the basis of that belief. Like a lot of people, if I don’t see you or evidence that you are there, I start to lose faith. With all do respect I could read American history that says the Native Americans deserved it but it doesn’t mean its true. It’s still a matter of personal opinion based on perception.”
“So, to you, millennia where my book has maintained as a standard, countless aspects of nature and the balance and beauty of my green earth, the individuality of countless species and you have no faith even spiritually?”
“I have faith that humans are a different species no matter how close some may say we are to apes. We act very similar to the viruses that ironically deteriorate the very bodies you gave us, sort of like we do with ‘your green earth.’
He looked offended as I just insulted the gift he gave us. I guess I was mocking him to a point. Was there really anything I could say that would offend God? I’m not so sure I was as mad at God as I was myself. After all, I always believed that I didn’t need God and the way he looks across the desk now, I still feel the same. I understood why I wasn’t getting answers at the moment, I still hadn’t asked a question. Then he retorted.
“You seem troubled and yet here you stand looking for an answer without taking your own meaning as you preach. You’ve never opened the Bible with that intent. You have basically spent your life making a joke of religion and its constituents and now you stand before me waiting for an answer to a question you yourself know not what you wish to ask. I don’t really concern myself with the fact that you question me or my word as much as your own hypocrisy in criticism when you’ve not taken the time to gain a clear understanding of the very thing in which you refuse. You take for granted all you’ve been given and sully it with cigarette smoke and tattoo your body, your temple.”
Okay, so maybe that hit a nerve. “If my body is my temple, compare it to me painting the walls. For the rest, you neglect to mention that like a child, if I’m not there to encourage homework, they may not do it. When have you ever been there to encourage me?”
“I am always with you my son.” That fueled the fire.
“In my life I can say that your presence comes from biased tainted words from tainted preachers, religious war, and wondering why you would let bad things happen to good people. My hypocrisy is learned by following in the footsteps of my creator.”
“With all due respect child, if you have such a disagreement with evolution and such disdain for religion, what do you expect to find in spirituality?”
I stopped for a moment. I managed to throw the hypocrisy back in his face but he had me here. Maybe that should be my question. All the questions that could be asked. Why are we here? What comes after life? What is the meaning of it all? The list compiled in my head again.
“We are born and if we are lucky, get raised by somebody who gives half a shit that we’re even alive at all and strives to ensure that our needs are met and we are the best we can be at whatever we do. The meaning is lost when we go through the same mundane routine until we die. We’ve allowed ourselves to evolve into mindless drones never questioning the end and expect a book that has been maintained and controlled by man to control our lives never aspiring to do more. You expect me to listen blindly and follow when this book is the only thing we have to inspire us to your righteous word never offering even an additional shred more to guide us. ‘Here it is folks, life in all its wonderful glory, this gift I give to you. Figure it out and don’t eat this fruit. If you get lost read this book and I’ll add stuff along the way of things I frown on.’ I don’t expect you to give me all the answers, I expect you to have a more felt presence in giving me a reason to care at all. If I did this with my children they would end up weak, starved, uneducated and living under an overpass. We don’t have you, we have each other and we don’t like ourselves. This is to continually spiral out of control because unlike the rumors of the past you quit punishing. A book just isn’t enough to follow anymore in a world that is based on visual perception. It is now nothing more then a security blanket for the masses because the lives we live mean nothing and the only thing we have to look forward to is that when we die it will be better. To me this seems like a sadistic warden more and I the innocent prisoner. Where in lies the reason for faith.”
If I ever caught my breath in all that bullshit I’m not sure. He sat across the desk from me and grinned. I figure he had some all knowing witty comment and what I got is still undecided.
“That’s the way it is child.”
At this point I really had to wonder if God was trying to piss me off. One thing that his followers claim next to the proverbial ‘The lord works in mysterious ways.’ I always hated these statements because it’s people giving excuses for God being a sadistic little prick with a magnifying glass over an anthill. I’m wondering if he actually thinks I believe that. Faith is a double edged sword and can be used loosely in a variety of contexts. For religion it’s relatively blind.
“Do you have you’re question yet child?” At this point he knew I didn’t have my question but was trying to trip me up.
“What are you?” I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the question I was intending to ask but something about the situation brought a new sense of fulfillment. The irony here again wasn’t that I may have been mad at God as much as I was mad at myself. I waited for an answer almost feeling I would get more of the psychobabble bs like “I am what I am.”
“I am whatever you want me to be, child.”
I sat there for a moment wondering if this was a bit of a paradox. I mean if God was what I wanted him to be wouldn’t that make my faith a figment of my imagination.
“Why do you think this meeting is setup like it is?”
“Because I’m hallucinating.” He smiled knowing I didn’t have an answer I’m sure. I knew I would however get an explanation.
“Recently, I’ve noticed that you yourself have been on a supposed spiritual journey. Not knowing the answers seems to have driven you in search of questions and already we have discussed what you do and do not believe in.
The pictures adorning the walls outside, the configuration and layout of this very room, the attractiveness of the assistant are all based on your preconceived notions of what this meeting would be like. Does that mean I’m a hallucination? Not necessarily. Notice there are slight differences then what you used to believe and what you have seen long before this conversation took place. You picture me based on a fictional character but you left the televisions that adorned the walls of that particular movie.
What it should mean is that you are infinitely closer to the truth then the masses who listen to others preach my word because you have decided that it’s inspired. It’s not directly from me. You have to take it how it means to you. People say you shouldn’t question your faith. I disagree. You shouldn’t question my word, you should question yourself and the basis of your belief or that would make your belief hollow and empty. For example, where has your anger gone?”
I realized I was far from angry anymore, in fact I felt a sudden peace. No it didn’t mean that I suddenly made peace with God what it meant the anger I felt at being lost was no longer a concern. Whether the meeting was real or not what it has given me was more sense of control on my personal endeavor and belief system.
Ironically, now that he pointed it out, I felt more like I was talking to the architect from the Matrix Reloaded. I’m still not sure where the anger went. Did I lose it from tearing into God or because as he so kindly noted that I had in fact made a realization myself. I didn’t expect to come out of this with a revelation as much as I did more questions.
So I politely nodded my head and left. I had no more questions available so that didn’t matter and think I understood my place more then before.