Sorry God, you’re just so inconvenient

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 21, 2015

Dear God,

I have been meaning to write to you for some time, as I am not quite sure you have been listening to my prayers. At least you have not gotten back to me or, I don’t think you have.

You see, there is a lot going around, these days, about the many folks who have left organized religion for other parts. Sure, there are many who still call themselves spiritual, and recent surveys show an increase in this innocuous label. Of course, spirituality is many things to many people, as they may believe in some supernatural being, or not. Today’s spirituality includes self-worship, the dark arts, native-ism and so forth. Books have even been written about the subject of developing our own theologies, in spite of what you have told us to do.

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God, you may ask what has caused all of this decline. Well, it has a lot to do with your expectations and requirements. For many centuries, you have called upon the Christians to live by a set of rules and the rules have now become a bit too much.

As your son Jesus told us, honoring you, treating others as we would ourselves, following the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of your instructions to us, have now become most burdensome.

You are asking for an awful lot, especially in these complex, modern times. No wonder there are people running for the exits, as they are being told you expect us to behave and sacrifice. When we infrequently attend your Church, we are constantly bombarded with words like, ‘sin, repentance, forgiveness, charity,’ and so forth. Not only does it cost money to go to Church, as when the plate is passed, but it also takes our precious time, which we believe is so limited.

After all, we do have to pay down the credit cards, the car loans and the mortgages.

All of this takes a whole lot of effort and we are always so tired, keeping up our lifestyle. Sunday is the perfect time to sleep in and relax.

After all, have we not earned it? Sorry God, you are so, well, inconvenient.

So, I do have a request. Could you take it a bit easier on us all and relax the rules, at least a little bit? Get the ministers to give us a break. Perhaps easing up on the sin bit, and taking out a few of the Ten Commandments? Let us acknowledge forgiveness and charity are quickly becoming passé, so let’s drop them altogether. If we were to work through some of these issues, perhaps we could come to a compromise and slacken the decline in the attendance numbers.

Of course, we have all been told that you, as God, have always been and will always be.

This is a tough concept to get our minds around, this eternity thing.

We also understand that you are unchanging and immutable. Well we, as your creatures made in your own image, couldn’t you make an exception, just this once and loosen the requirements?

Wait a minute… Okay God, I think you have sent me a message, as I am writing this to you. Perhaps I was not paying attention before. Of course, we do rely on you, for your constancy and compassion.  Indeed, it is all we have.

I get it now: putting ourselves above you, changing our beliefs to benefit ourselves, and finding excuses not to worship in thanksgiving, is not your problem. It is solely our own problem. It is to you who we should ask for strength, to overcome these earthly distractions, and not strength, or have the audacity, to overcome you.

After all, the penalty of inconvenience, is death.

Please forgive me,

A sinner

By Father Jonathan J. Filkins.