I always find it odd when people succeed at something and thank God. It makes some of us feel warm inside because we’re listening to the winners. On the flip side of that coin, does God hate the Arizona Cardinals? Do all their prayers and the prayers of their fans go unanswered? I imagine the children of the Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner, who people have been so kind to send me email forwards of his inspirational story which specifically points out his Christian faith, being denied by God. Somewhere in a Tampa skybox with this look of disappointment on their little faces that God gave this victory to the Pittsburg Steelers.
I find it odd when you succeed credit is always given to God but when you fail, it’s your fault. If you use that logic, if God helps people win, doesn’t that mean she’s1 indirectly helping someone lose? God helps people on the correct path and you see people say Satan is the one who tempts you down the incorrect path. Nobody ever blames Satan. I’ve never seen a post-game interview where someone says, “Well you know, we tried our hardest but Satan was out there tonight and our faith wasn’t strong enough.”
Better yet, I’d love to see someone get all pissed off and blame God for losing.
“I can’t believe this is happened. I guess Jesus hates the Oklahoma Sooners. Screw that guy.”
Well, the Oklahoma Sooners and apparently everybody else if you listen to these guys.
Which also makes me wonder is God made everything in his own image doesn’t it mean he made these people too and them being who they are is part of her divine plan? Oh well, that’s another whole blog.
It would be kinda cool to get all the credit for things that go right knowing someone else will take the blame when they go south. It’s not that I don’t believe in Divine Intervention, it’s just that I believe you can’t ask for it. Prayer doesn’t even make sense to me. God has a plan for me but I am supposed to pray and ask him for things? Really? I’m supposed to sway the decisions and wisdom of a deity? Me? A guy who doesn’t understand why there are thirty days in a twelve month year and not thirty six days in a ten month year.2 God’s supposed to trust me to make these decisions? I’m lucky I can get to work on time and feed myself.
My father died of cancer in 1999 so I am assuming that’s part of the plan. Doesn’t me asking for this one thing actually challenge my faith that I don’t trust God to know what he’s doing and the extra selfish ten years I would have had with my father could possibly create a Butterfly Effect that sends time and space as we know it spinning out of control? It’s like when children write letters to the President to end war. It’s cute and all but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Seriously, how divine can the plan be if he’s willing to change it for some six-year-old kid in Hoboken who wants his injured dog to live? God grants him that prayer and that boy never learns to handle death properly because it’s something his parents ignore because it makes them uncomfortable and they tell him bullshit like, “Of course we’ll always be here.” When his dog does eventually die, his parents tell him Dingo Starr3 is “on a farm chasing rabbits.” Ten years later his parents are in a car accident and his father is killed instantly but his mother is on life support without brain functionality. He’s told by doctors her chances of survival are less than 2%. Holding onto hope he refuses to pull the plug. He exhausts his life savings to keep her alive jeopardizing the future of his wife and children. His grandparents intervene and a legal battle ensues and it ends on the steps of the Supreme Court and creates a precedent that doesn’t just affect him but the other three hundred million people in the country.
All because some six-year old kid didn’t want his dog to die.
I’d like to think God knows what she’s doing. Most of us don’t. I live most of my life like a fourteen year-old with a paycheck. I don’t pray often and when I do I don’t ask her for anything. I know a girl who got rims for her car and told me she’d, “prayed about it.” Not for the wisdom on whether she should spend her money on rims, she actually prayed for the rims. To her, God wasn’t a source of spiritual fulfillment. God was Santa Claus.
I usually just thank her for things. I refer to God the way my father used to refer to the United States Army.
LITTLE JIM: Dad, why did you have me when you were forty-seven?
JIM’S DAD, ED: Because if the Army wanted me to have kids when I was younger they would have issued me a couple of ankle-biters when I was thirty.
I figure if God wanted me to have better luck with women in my misspent youth he would have made me a chocolate covered millionaire with a fistful of shoes. If he wanted me to have a million dollars, he’d give me a million dollars. Until then, I thank God for the health I have, my family, the warm bed I sleep in and that my fiancé isn’t batshit crazy.
Thanking God for achievements sometimes just seems like the thing to do. Like going to church on Easter because it’s expected of you knowing next Friday you’re on the street trying to score some cocaine from Pretty Tony because getting strippers back to your hotel room with a case of Rolling Rock is a bitch. How many rappers do I have to watch give a speech where they thank God for letting them win an award for a song about banging girls that remind them of their Jeep? Somehow, I don’t think God would be on board with that. Hell, I don’t think R Kelly’s grandma would be on board with that.
Someone once told me prayer is showing God you believe in him. But if I believe in a divine plan and that clearly the Almighty knows more than I do, doesn’t that make that a futile exercise? In the end, God was going to do whatever she wants anyway. That just seems like an exercise in ego destined for disappointment. I hate to side with George Carlin on religion but he says he prays to God and prays to the sun and finds he gets about 50% of the stuff he asks for either way. Consequently he started praying to Joe Pesci because Joe Pesci seems like the kind of guy who can get things done. He prayed to Joe Pesci about his neighbor’s barking dog and that dog doesn’t bark anymore.
I don’t claim to have any answers. Just making observations that it seems kind of a contradictory one way street. Doesn’t mean I don’t do it. Just means I don’t understand it.
I would just hate to be the team who has a superior coaching strategy, defense, offense and home field advantage knowing the other team had the wrath of God on their side. Nobody wants to smited (or smote… you know what I am saying).
1 God is a woman… deal with it.
2 A day is one revolution of the Earth. A year is one rotation of the Earth around the sun. After looking it up I can tell you a month is one completion of the lunar cycle which is thirty days (then divided by 365 days is how we get twelve months in a year). Damn public school education. Actually, I am sure this was explained to me in third grade but somewhere along the line I had to make a decision to remember that or the original five MTV VJs and I went with Martha Quinn, JJ Jackson, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and Alan Hunter. Fat lot of good it did me.
3 This was originally Paul McBarkney which looks a lot funnier than it sounds when you say it.