Could you please stop fixing sporting events? Your unpredictability is killing me at the betting table. I can never figure out who you’re helping. One moment you’re hooking up Steve Smith with the Panthers (well, you used to hook him up–he must have been a naughty boy this past year), and the next it’s Vick at Philly (I guess you don’t like Pit Bull Terriers either, huh?). How am I supposed to figure out which one you love the most, or which one prayed the hardest that you would help them ‘guide’ the ball in just the right place, if you keep flip-flopping? Could you be a little less fickle with your handouts? You are, after all, immutable. That means you are unchanging. It says so in the Bible, Malachi 3:6: “For I, the Lord, do not change.” Yet, when it comes to sports, I am far more consistent than you. I have been an Orioles fan since 1981. Other than that time where you clearly graced us in ’83, do you know what misery I, along with other O’s fans, have had to endure for decades? What do you have against Baltimore? It’s no more pagan than any other city (though you do seem to be a little more generous to the Ravens—perhaps I should speak to the owner of the Orioles about requiring team prayer before each game).
Anyway, do you think you could just pick a team and stay with them? No one likes a bandwagon fan. Actually, you’re not just a fan, but you, if the winners of Super Bowls, World Cups and World Series are to be believed, actually rig the games (and I thought the Patriot’s coach was bad). I just thought I would ask. I assume, since you are so concerned with touchdowns, home runs and last-second shots, you wouldn’t mind.
Oh, another thing (sorry to be so needy): I know you are omnipotent, but it seems you have been giving more attention to Sunday afternoon scores than to a few other things in the world. Granted, I know extremely affluent athletes who own multiple cars and houses are very important to you, but do you think you could, oh, I don’t know, do something about the ongoing genocide in Darfur? Tibet? Rwanda? Perhaps you could send out a little help to ease the tensions between your followers in Ireland or in Israel and Palestine? There is also this very serious AIDS epidemic occurring in Africa. That could be important. Oh yeah, and cancer kind of sucks. As does SIDS, diabetes, blindness, paralysis, global warming, and the near-extinction of Pandas, Blue Whales, Monk Seals, Red Wolves, and the Mantled Howler Monkey (come on, those creatures are awesome).
Perhaps, and I’m feeling a bit like Abraham here, you could tone down the number of Tsunami’s, earthquakes, and hurricanes you’ve been sending lately? While I’m asking, any chance you might convince your world leaders to stop making nuclear missiles? I know it’s a long-shot, but since all governments are ordained by you I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Also, did you know that almost every 4 seconds someone dies of starvation? Of course, you did. You’re omniscient.
One last thing: Maybe you could look into why more than 2 billion people live on something like $2 a day. More than 500 million people in South Asia live (if you can call it that) on less than $1 a day. I mean, I hear all the time how you are obviously blessing the people in North America with a surplus of goods, so I know that means we’re doing something right. I can’t even count the number of ‘God Bless America’ bumper stickers that are on the back of your average Lincoln, Lexus and Mercedes. In a world where less than 10% of the total population actually owns a car, many of us are so blessed as to be able to have numerous vehicles!
How ungrateful are those that don’t praise your name? But, just out of curiosity, what did all those others do that was so bad to not garner your attention? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning your justice; I’m sure their prayers for food and the basic necessities of life deserve to go unanswered. If I learned anything from the book of Job it is to tread quietly and not ask too many questions. But since you are overtly concerned with who wears Super Bowl rings, and Jesus did, after all, say that whatever we ask for you will provide . . . well . . . could you please make sure the Orioles get a better pitching staff next year? That would be my prayer: Just guide the ball straight and true into the catcher’s mitt oh Lord. Straight and true.
The Amish Jihadist
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.