Eric has a wild imagination. How good is yours? Try this:
Imagine that you are God. Before you in all its starry splendour is spread the universe you have made. You see it in three dimensions of space from boundary to boundary and you see it through all of time from its joyous explosive beginning to its ultimate end. Everything within space time reflects your glory and moves and interacts according to the laws you have established. Now you stretch forth your arm and touch it with your finger at a single point. You speak a word and your spirit causes a change in your universe. As if you had dropped a pebble in a pond, a ripple spreads out through space and forward in time from the point of contact. A wave front of reactions, a cone of consequences, passes through your creation leaving it subtly different. Your will has been done. All is in order.
Now you look more closely at a cluster of galaxies. One in particular catches your eye. As it always does, the splendour of this swirling luminescent cloud causes your heart to leap. Billions of stars are forming, shining, exploding and dying before your gaze and you know every one of them by name. You focus on a yellow star in a spiral arm where the stardust is thinly spread. In amongst its orbiting family is a strikingly beautiful planet very different from its siblings: Earth.
Something unusual is happening here: abundant teeming glorious chaotic life. More wonderful still, there are upwards of seven billion creatures like you: men and women. They are not eternal, all wise and all powerful like you but each one has some time, some wisdom, and some abilities. Each one can do stuff and change things. You look on as each person’s actions generate reactions spreading out on earth through space and time. Multiple cones of consequence interact creating complex interference patterns. Some actions and consequences are in line with your good will towards all your creation but others directly oppose it. Some of your people are caring and loving and nurturing, but others are hurting and exploiting those around them and destroying the world you have made.
In the midst of all the life and death, the joy and despair, the order and the chaos, millions of people are calling out to you. It’s half an hour before breakfast and Eric is saying the Lord’s Prayer:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
After a little pause, he adds:
“O Lord, help me get promotion at work. Let my daughter Gemma pass all her GCSEs and may my wife Jenny be happy today. Oh, and please help the children suffering in Syria. Amen”
And so the adventures begin. You know that some of Eric’s workmates would be better at that job than him and some of them need the money more than he does. You know that Gemma hasn’t studied hard enough to pass many of her exams and Jenny is struggling to fit everything in to her day and is so tired. And Syria is such a disaster zone. “God,” the people cry day and night “help us.”
So what on earth do you do? How can your will be done on earth as it is in heaven?
Author’s note: Please let me know how you would respond to Eric’s prayer, if you were God, as a comment (60 words max). Your ideas could help shape future instalments of: The Adventures of Eric…
©Peter Hendra January 2017