Just How It Happened, or Jesus Takes a Business Trip


by Daniel Thomas Moran

AFTER AN ETERNITY OF DOING NOTHING, God became pretty busy and, by all accounts, things went pretty well. Fifteen billion years went by as quickly as a February afternoon, and the Universe seemed to be humming. Then came the Earth, a blue speck in the middle of all that cosmic madness. Even it was looking pretty swell since being floated out into the void four and a half billion years earlier. If there had been anyone else around, they would have admired the living things on it, a hundred million kinds of critters, from staphylococci to chipmunks to chrysanthemums to sperm whales, all spun out from a single cell (if you are inclined to believe the evidence).

Life progressed splendidly there until there came a day when He could not resist the idea of creating just one more creature. One who might look just like Him. One who would defer to Him and constantly tell him how special He was. One who would, well, make Him feel even better about Himself. (He relished the thought of endless supplicating.) It was that very day, a Saturday about 200,000 years ago, when He created The Human.

But He made his first big mistake when He gave them a brain with a little too much space in it, and these humans, in the quiet moments between their adorations, began to fill it with ideas about themselves, and the places they lived, and even the Earth and its workings. Before long, they took on trying to make sense of the entire Universe. And they seemed to be getting somewhere. God just stayed quiet the whole time, content to see where it would go. Before long, humans were all over the place, begetting like alley cats, crossing the plains and the mountains and the seas. After a while, God began to have something He had never had before: second thoughts. Humans had started becoming a bit smug, as far as He was concerned. But they still worshipped Him, and who wouldn’t love that? About 198,000 years had passed since the first of the humans got up to dance in the sunshine and in the light of a thing they named the Moon. Fifteen billion silent years into it and finally, God thought it was time to speak up, and He took some time out to sit down with a dusty-bearded desert-dweller named Moses.

And so one day they met, high on top of a good-sized mountain. (God always hated to travel.) He handed Moses a list of things He felt, by virtue of His status as Creator, He had a right to demand, all chiseled onto a couple of slabs of rock. God was a guy with style, and He loved to show it off. So Moses told the rest of gang he hung with in the desert about what God had on his mind, and they reluctantly agreed to go along with it, even the part about adultery. Still, as time went on, it was clear to God that these humans were a bit feisty and too many of them loved to do something He called sinning, a term He coined to describe those acts that were not in keeping with how He wanted the game played.

After a while, the sins of these desert dwellers began to pile up, until God decided He needed to get a little more plucky. He got hold of His only son Jesus (who knew?), and told him that these humans were out of control as far as He was concerned. Someone was going to have to be held to account for all of those damned sins and He decided just whom it would be. He told Jesus that it was he who was going to go down there and solve the problem. Jesus hated business trips. When he heard God was going to dispatch him to Earth, to the very spot in the desert where the trouble had started, he asked why this could not be done in, say, Hawaii. But God wanted to make use of a time-share he had in Galilee. Jesus would have to be born of a virgin so that people would know Jesus was special. Then Jesus was to tootle around and confound a bunch of ne'er-do-well fishermen until he was into his thirties. At which time he would piss off enough people sufficiently that they would have to deal with him.

The plan called for few days of torture (whippings and such), followed by being nailed to a tree. That would  work well enough to make God feel much better about the sinning, and He would be willing to call it even. Jesus stopped wondering about the virgin thing and asked for a recount. He told Jesus to knock off the whining. Within three days God would have him home again, snug as a bug in a rug in Heaven.

God had the Universe with its ten thousand billion billion stars and even more planets, not to mention the 100 million different species and millions of humans on Earth, in Asia and The Americas and all the other continents. But God was hot on the little stuff, and He was mad as Hell at this bunch of belligerent, illiterate goat-herders and fishermen. God wanted them to know that He was not one to be trifled with. And so Jesus would just have to suck it up. And he did. After which the sinning continued anyway, even more so. Which just goes to prove that the only thing really eternal is bad behavior.

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