Avoid God If You Can

   My mother introduced me to God. He was a very simple, uneducated Guy, who taught you to love your mother, go to church meetings and avoid alchohol, tobacco and swearing. I am 54, never had a drink, smoked a cigar a couple of times with Bobby Smith and swear only when in the presence of other preachers.

   My friend, Jim, introduced me to God. He was a very masculine, powerful Guy, who taught you to stand up and be counted. He exerted great effort to remain physically fit and finish first. I did not like Him much at first, since I tend toward air conditioning, but exertion has felt good as I have gotten older.

   My preacher, James, my preacher, Paul, my preacher, Millard, my professor, James, my professor, Wallace and Bryce and Nat, introduced me to God. For James, my preacher, God was mad at just about everyone but mostly the Liberals, though James forgot to be angry when he got through in the pulpit and mostly loved everyone. I found out from the others God was not really much mad at all, just tired of people being tired of people.

   My wife, Joan, introduced me to God. He was never willing to let me run down to the church to avoid family. He had me coach basketball, show up for all the concerts, face every crisis and take responsibility. I did not know if He was right about this for a long while, what with me taking time away from "service" and all but the kids turned out pretty good; certainly better than me.

   My churches introduced me to God. He was an inhumane employer, a bit of a miser, a constant critic, a creature in great need. He was innocence not quite lost, stubborn to a fault but constantly fascinating. I tried to leave Him a couple of times but He kept calling me back to Him.

   My soul introduced me to God. He was shorter than I thought. His voice was higher in frequency and so sometimes irritating to hear. He tended to speak in low decibels, requiring concentration and often shut out by louder sounds. I frequently lost touch with Him in prosperity, only to return to Him in crisis. Go figure.

   Jesus introduced me to God. Jesus really seems to know a lot about God. If Anyone ever had a reason to avoid God, it was Jesus. Almost from the minute Jesus got here, there was a love-hate relationship between us and Him. Some foreigners and poor people came to see Jesus but the big guy on the throne tried to kill His whole family and then ran them out of town.

   I look at the whole Jesus introduction to God and get a mixed message. Jesus lives lower than an animal most of His life, never gets a wife or accumulates a fortune or even lives inside much. The whole Crucifixion thing is pretty awful but the night before, when Jesus asks for a different cup, He can’t even get that from God. He just has to give in and drink up the whole thing.

   I advise people to avoid God if they can. I haven’t been able to get away from Him/Her no matter what I do. Everywhere I turn, people and inner workings and Jesus keep pulling me along, often against my wishes. If I have a shiny soul it is because of Him/Her, her, them, her, him and all the names I’ve tossed in here, along with a million others; Jeremy, Jennifer, Jonathan, Jordan, Faith, Logann, Grant, Leon and on and on and on….

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