God speaks to us in many ways. But, being the independent-thinking human beings that we are, we sometimes use our "selective hearing" when receiving input from the Almighty. The following is a conversation between God and a fictional character called "ME". Any resemblance between ME and any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
GOD: I've created you in my image, right down to the ability to decide things for yourself. I'll help you get started. Here are ten commandments for you, along with this book that will help you to fill in the blanks.
ME: Where's the rule book that you follow?
GOD: I wrote the rule book, based on my characteristics.
ME: So then why can't I let my character guide my decisions?
GOD: (thinking, "what, is she kidding me?") It's your choice ... but you really should read the book and refer to it as you go. Also, I want you to know that I am always available to help you if you get stuck or need anything. All you have to do is ask.
ME: So, you mean I can do this life thing however I want?
GOD: I've given you free will ...
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where this will take ME ...
- Poor family relationships
- The kids don't respect ME
- Coworkers don't trust ME with much anything told to ME in confidence
- A mountain of bills from wanting to keep up with ME's best friend's lifestyle (a lifestyle that ME really couldn't afford to begin with)
- ME's therapist won't even take his/her calls
ME: God, how did my life become such a mess?
GOD (ears perking up): ME? Is that you? Did you just call out to me?
ME: I thought you told me you'd always be here to help me. Where were you while my life was spiraling down the toilet?
GOD: Let's look back at our earlier conversation, shall we, ME? I did say I would be available to help. But you had to ask. I wanted you to acknowledge your need for my help. It was your choice to do things according to your own will, guided by your own imperfect human character.
ME: But you also said that I was created in your image. Shouldn't my character have been like yours?
GOD: You would have been a lot closer if you fol.lowed the commandments and referred to the book I gave to you.
ME: Oh, you were actually serious about that?
GOD: Mmm-hmmm ...
ME: God, I made such a mess of things. How can I even begin to make it right?
GOD: You can't. Not on you own.
ME: So you're telling me I'm stuck here.
ME: But I don't want the life I have. It's not even living, really. I want something better. I want what you intended for me to have. Can't you help me?
GOD: You're starting to get it. I can help you.
ME: God, I don't even know where to start. To be completely honest, I've hurt so many people and in the process ended up hurting myself. I don't think anyone would ever be able to forgive me. I so much want to start over. I want a new life, like being made new.
GOD: I can do that. In fact, my son Jesus specializes in helping you with forgiveness and being made new.
ME: Why would Jesus want to help someone as wretched as me? I'd think he'd be too perfect to want to be around someone who lived my life. Someone who wouldn't listen to you.
GOD: Believe it or not, I knew from the start that if I left you to your own devices you'd end up where you are now. But in my holiness I could not allow your "wretched" self live in my glory. You see, my standard is absolute -- perfection. And the consequences for not meeting that standard is absolute as well -- death. Spiritual death. You'd be separated from me.
ME: Like where I am now.
GOD: Exactly. But I love you too much to spend eternity apart from you. So, in order to fulfill that absolute consequence of death, I sent Jesus -- my only son -- to take your consequences upon himself.
ME: I've been dealing with the consequences of my screw-ups here on earth, from people all around me. I didn't realize there was a punishment from you that was so severe.
ME: Let me see if I get this -- Your punishment is separation from you. Yet we're able to have this conversation right now because Jesus took that separation so I wouldn't have to?
GOD: You're getting it!
ME: No one ever loved me like that ...
ME: But wait ... your son is dead. You must be heartbroken.
GOD: Not at all. He came back from the dead!
GOD: I don't lie. It's all here in this book.
ME (remorseful): You mean the one I should have been reading all along ...
ME: I'm so sorry I made a mess of the life you gave me. And I'm grateful to you that you would send Jesus to take my consequences upon himself. I couldn't have met your perfect standard on my own. I never can ... Can you forgive me?
GOD: I don't only forgive you, but I also give you a clean start. I don't even remember your past. In my sight, you're a new creation!
ME: You're giving me a do-over?
GOD: I Am
ME: Well, since I'm starting over, can I have a look at that book?
GOD: I thought you'd never ask.
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