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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.

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Thus spake Me: December 2, 2005. "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People"
Friday, December 02, 2005

(God's column appears in this space every Friday.)

As promised last week, today We’ll take a look at why bad things happen to good people. I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday, and there were 32 books grappling with this question. And did you know you can get a cappuccino in a book store now? I don’t know who thought that up, but I like it!

So let Me pose a question of My own: Why SHOULDN’T bad things happen to good people?

You humans have a very quaint and childish view of religion and justice and morality. “I was a good boy; how come I fell off my bike?” Uh, maybe you were a good boy with lousy balance? Maybe you were a good boy in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I’ve been wondering where you humans got the idea that “goodness” somehow protects you from ill fortune. I think maybe it goes back to the job I did on Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, be wary of over-generalizing the apocryphal stories of the bible. I mean, Vegas is still there, right? And that town is a cesspool (although interestingly, the suburbs are a lovely place to raise a family, if you can take the heat. Or if you’re a gila monster.) And don’t throw New Orleans at Me; that town will be back faster than you can say Jambalaya.

One would think humans would have gotten over the belief that bad things happen to good people when My own boy was crucified (which is, trust Me, not a great way to go.)

To Me, a much more interesting question might be, why do good things happen to bad people? How does one explain, say, Donald Trump, Paris Hilton, or Hitler? (OK, maybe I’m being unfair to Hitler.)

So let me explain it all to you. Two things you need to remember. First, I am a big fan of randomness. I created the heavens and the earth, all the animals, blah blah blah, put a bunch of interesting stuff into the environment for you to discover (like say the results of splitting an atom; surprise!) Then I just sat back and watched things unfold. The cosmic beauty of randomness, the sacred patterns that emerge—this is God’s way.

Second, your time on earth—that fleeting flash of a spark of consciousness you call life—is all about the struggle between good and evil. Each one of you is confronted by both in abundance. Many of you can’t tell which is which. And how you experience the afterlife is determined by how you reconcile that struggle in your own life (Donald Trump’s afterlife: nothing but supermodels who only date rich guys with hair, and he’s broke and has no toupee.) So yes, good people will face adversity. Some more than others. Because it comes randomly, but it comes to all of you. Being somehow inherently “good” doesn’t buy you a “get out of misery free” card; no, it merely governs how you handle that misery.

Let Me give you an example. I’ll have this example appear to you in a form you can recognize: a celebrity. Christopher Reeve. Nice guy, decent actor, even I loved the first 2 Superman movies. Then he has that accident, and he’s paralyzed. Did I do that to him for some sort of spiritual retribution? No; it wasn’t me, it was the horse. It was random, and unfortunate. But hey, stuff happens.

So how did he respond? You all know, because you read People. He responded like an ace. He fought, and he worked for others. And now he’s up here with me, eating shrimp, and playing intramural volleyball two nights a week. And he runs the mile in nine seconds.

So don’t whine to Me when something bad happens. And by all means, don’t stop believing in Me. I have not forsaken you, and I have not stopped pulling for you. I’m actually waiting to see how you handle the adversity, and no matter how horrible it may seem, I know you can handle it. I might even answer your prayers. (Actually, I answer all your prayers. But sometimes I say “no.”) And when you’re all done, there’s plenty of room at My table.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 1:07 PM  

At 12/08/2005 3:17 PM, Anonymous Raven said...   

So, you mean to tell me that you're not some sort of divine Santa Claus whose only purpose in life is to give me presents for my good behavior?

At 12/08/2005 4:33 PM, Blogger God said...   

Yes Raven, that is correct. Although I am a big fan of Santa, as you correctly surmise it is he, and not I, who you need to be sure knows you've been nice and not naughty.

(By the way, I know that you've been naughty. But I'm not telling Santa.)

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