Protection Racket

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Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:3)

One of the perks of being on God’s good side is that you’ve got some contractual entitlements. These include an extended warranty, a sin exchange program, a user manual (which, unfortunately, is a bit on the long side), numerous other user-friendly user manuals to explain the user manual, a broad selection of doctrines to choose from (many of which come with their own denominations), access to a 24 hour heavenly service center (with a wait time from a few seconds to thousands of years), damnation exemption (which may or may not include a rapture clause), in-filling of the Holy Spirit (which may or may not include any of the following: tongues, perfection, sin-waivers, prosperity, a book deal, Tourette’s, or a divorce), and, in some special cases for those who go for such things, martyrdom.

One of the best perks of all, however, is the protection provision. God promises to rescue his subjects from all kinds of trouble. I can testify that he holds his end up most of the time. For example, I have never been caught in a fowler’s snare even once. I have also never gotten hit with pestilence (though I’ve had the chickenpox, the measles, the mumps, and have gotten the flu a few times). According to Psalm 91, I don’t have to worry about the terror of night (I got over that a long time ago anyway); I don’t have to worry about flying arrows or the plague either, which is quite a relief. I’m also assured that I can step on a lion and a cobra and get away with it (but I think I’ll just stick to ants).

I do have a couple of questions though. The contract clearly states that God will tell his angels to lift me up “so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Now I know for a fact that I’ve stubbed my toe lots of times. What I want to know is if it was some dimwit angel who dropped the ball or if God has some fine print in there that says it only counts for stones and that a “stone” is limited to a certain circumference. So maybe I actually stubbed my toe on a rock, which would not be covered as would be the case with doors or steps or furniture. God can be extremely meticulous about certain things.

The contract also very clearly states that “no disaster will come near your tent.” Now I admit that I’ve only camped in a tent a couple of times, but one time when I did it rained so hard that I got soaked right through my tent.  My clothes and sleeping bag were drenched.  I don’t mean to be picky, but that was a small-scale disaster to me. Maybe God underwrites only catastrophic wetness like the Flood. Even so, I was pretty miserable.

This brings up one more thing. The contract says that “no harm will befall” me. I don’t know what God’s definition of harm is, but I don’t think we have the same one. If harm means “physical injury or mental damage” then God has some explaining to do. I’ve had a broken arm, a broken toe, a cracked wrist, a ripped knee, ingrown toenails, headaches, bruises, sprained ankles, eye infections, pneumonia, sinus infections, and psychological trauma. Just what are you supposed to call those, uninsured acts of God? Excuse me, but either God has overwritten his promissory note or he needs a lawyer to clarify his intent.

On the whole, God may have a solid batting average when it comes to protecting his people from bad things, and as long as you are within the limitations of the contract you can whistle while you work. But if you get whacked by a falling communications satellite while in the shower, you’re probably just screwed.

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