And God Help You

The Brooklyner 2013

 

My chores were piling up, I had a book report to turn in and hadn’t read the book yet and I spent my week’s lunch money on candy—treating my friends. I was in trouble and in my bedroom without dinner for talking back. I did what I’ve seen kids on TV do, I knelt next to my bed, clasped my hands, squeezed my eyes shut tightly and prayed to God for help.

“God, I’m only a twelve year old boy and I can’t do all these things myself. Please help me out.

I got into bed, under the covers instead of reading my book and tried to sleep.

So God spoke to me. “My job is not to do your job, Arthur, but to give you confidence and support and with that you’ll be able to do much more than you think.”

“Okay,” I told God. “I’ll take the confidence and support from you if that’s all I can get but you’re God and could do more if you wanted to. Just once and this would be a good once and I won’t ask again.”

I heard a text tone from my phone. God texted me. “You think it’s so easy? Well it’s not. Do you have any idea how many kids want and need confidence and support? Don’t be getting greedy with me or I’ll take one away and you’ll have to choose between confidence and support.”

I texted back. “But you’re God. You can do anything at anytime and anywhere. What’s the big deal?”

My phone rang and I caught it mid first ring before my father heard it and came in and gave me a slap-a-round for breaking the phone rules.

It was God and he sounded pissed. “Think, Arthur, you ingrate. I could have hidden the phone and let it ring a half-dozen times and your father would have been in your room in a flash with his belt. But no,” he said, “I’m compassionate and understanding and you are neither. Remember, I’m not a patsy. You ask me for something every day—sometimes three or four times a day. It’s not my job to see that you get a hit in Little League or that your mother will have chocolate pudding for dessert or that your teach won’t ask to see your homework that you forgot to do. That’s wasting my time and taking me away from important matters.”

I had to defend myself to God but he stopped me. “Don’t try to defend yourself, Arthur. I’m losing my temper and if that happens it won’t be good for either of us. I’ll get in trouble and what I don’t need is more trouble.” He disconnected.

I texted. “But you’re God—how can you get in trouble? You’re God and everyone knows you’re on the top.”

And God texted back. Everyone has a boss. My brothers and sisters are goods too, only elsewhere and they are no different—we all have to answer to our father and him to his father and so on up the line. There is no head honcho in our business no matter what you’ve read or been told. Everyone has a boss and there is no way out of it so knock it off and go to bed and you’ll wake up with confidence and support. And by the way, Jewish kids don’t kneel by the beds when they pray—get with the program. Now be thankful for what you’re getting or I’ll be forced to put you on report. And God help you if it comes to that.

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