I once had a friend, one considerably more religious than me, who had a good saying that kind of put God into perspective. She said, “If God in his entirety was confined to what our puny brains could understand, well, God wouldn’t be much of a God now would he?”
That was pretty smart, and I told her so, although I think I was more motivated to agree with her because she was “Va-Va-Voom” beautiful than an appreciation for the soundness of her reasoning. But she was right. I don’t have the capacity to understand some of the wacky things God has been doing for the last 4,000, or last 4 trillion years, depending on what you believe.
Just the other day I read in Time magazine that some scientist had successfully carbon-dated a 2.2 billion-year oldtomatillo! I mean, what was God thinking? Was He thinking of making salsa way back then and decided to put the whole thing on hold until he created us and gave us the free will to invent antacids? Like I said: I don’t have the mental capacity. Another thing I don’t understand is the artichoke. What was He thinking? He puts a tasty little treat inside a barbed-wire fence and then gives us butter and mayonnaise so we just have to try them! Free will? I think we need free band-aids. Speaking of band-aids—why didn’t he just make the new skin that was growing back already have little holes so it could breath naturally?
I’ve got another friend, who’s not so “Va-Va Voom”, who says that God is absolutely perfect and infallible and everything has a purpose, no matter how wonderful or bad and pointless it may seem. A purpose? Everything? Someone explain to me my sister, who’s had one white hair growing out of her chin since childhood. She’s fifty-two. Every day for some forty-odd years she’s been shaving it off at night and the persistent little devil reappears the next morning. God, what were you thinking? For that matter, what were you thinking when you allowed that zygote to split and created my sister? Infallible? Hmm.
I think we’ll all agree that the world in general is a pretty wonderful place, but God-in-heaven-above-us what was the omnipotent reasoning behind such screwy things as snow in places we can’t ski? Natural medicines that are in locations so treacherous that it’ll kill us just to reach them? The left-handed corkscrew? Golf. Tofu. The cowlick? The appendix?Pink lemonade? Nurses that wake you up to take a sleeping pill and leg muscles that can’t climb a set of stairs during the day but try and run a marathon when you sleep? Barry Manilow. God, the list is endless!
By the way, that death thing is a little hard to fathom, too.
I have a third friend, the only remaining one, who says that all these inscrutable inconsistencies can be explained by God being a woman! Hee-hee! Pretty clever, blaming the world’s wacky nature on a feminine deity—only there’s no way God could be a woman because women are smarter than men so a female God wouldn’t have created these anomalies I’m talking about. Women are smarter than men? Want proof? Women can do something that men can never do! Never, never, never!
Women can color-coordinate their shoes with their outfit.
So, my friend was right. I wouldn’t want a God who was only as big as my ability to understand Him. I still can’t understand Soduko!
As big as my ability to comprehend him? Nah. Let’s just keep God where He or She has always been—all around us in everything that exists, or will exist, forever and ever.
Even in artichokes.
An Essay by daryl buckner