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Monday, August 24, 2009

This is the Promised Land???


"You seem like you're in a really good place..."

My friend Panzer said that to me the other day.

Me. Good place.

If i was in the Hundred Acre Wood, Eor would tell me to lighten up. If i was one of the seven dwarves, the other six would trigger a cave-in and bury me alive and Grumpy would lead them. B.A. Baracus thinks i have a bad attitude. But enough about me.

Let's talk about Abraham.

Abraham got the direct word from God Almighty to up and move. "Go to the land I will show you." Not, go north on i 58 to the Mesopotamian Turnpike, hang a louie and head West until you see the sea, then bang South again on Egypt 501 through Palestine, Canaan and Assyria. Take the Mount Moriah exit and you're there! Just go. I'll tell you when we get there. Jesus would echo these words centuries later with, "you there, in the boat, follow me."

And Abraham went. And he got there... eventually but i'll bet there were times when he wanted to ask, "am I nuts?" And you know Sarah gave him crap every gosh darn day about listening to strange voices and uprooting the family and all and what were they going to eat and where would they live and how long would they live in a tent and did you just do this to get away from my mother and i'm tired of smelling like camel, when are we going to stop somewhere with proper facilities? And if Lot asked him one more time, "Are we there yet?" I kid you not! The boy is Lion chow! I will bury him up to his neck and cover his face with honey just to see what comes to lick his skin off!

Fourteen million bathroom breaks later, they arrived... dah-dah-da-dah-dah-da-DAH...big Charleton Heston voice over...which works even better cause he's dead...The Promised Land! Brass ensemble blows fanfare! Followed by kazoo solo. See, there were already people living there and it turned out to be sort of a future inheritance kind of deal. And the folk there weren't really Abraham's kind of folk. They were a touch sleazy. And then there were droughts and famine and they were still living in tents and there were well disputes and Sarah was barren and there was all the regular work involved in moving an army of sheep and shepherds from place to place. Oh, and then there was the little issue after Sarah finally did have a son, of God telling him to take him to a mountain, slash his throat and burn him, psyche. Get to know God, He's got a wicked sense of humor. You think following God means no troubles? Look at His Son Jesus. The guy was a homeless carpenter who willingly allowed himself to be tortured and executed. You think that if things aren't going slick as snot then you must be missing your divine cues? You better think another think, my buddly bud. God's replanting Eden. And all those fruit trees and jalapeño plants and flowers need soil that has all of its rocks dug out, its weeds ripped from it, its surface ground up, tilled, plowed over, rained on and guess what? We're not just the workers, we're the dirt.

"Lord?"
"Yello."
"Um, we're here."
"Yep."
"Um, here in the Promised Land."
"Yep, all of this, I give to you."
"Yeah, bout that, bit of a fixer upper, huh? Kind of a handyman's special."
"You should see it from my point of view."
"Yeah, did you happen to notice Sodom and Gomorrah right smack dab in the middle?"
"Yep."
"Right. You saw that. It's just that, there's a lot of work to do here."
"Why did you think I sent you here?"
"Well, i dunno, i just sort of thought .. that.. you know..."
"What?"
"That i was being rewarded or something."
"Rewarded?"
"Yeah, for being good."
"You should see you from my point of view."
"Right, touché. It's just that, i thought this would be a good place."
"It is a good place."
"How so? i mean, look around. It's falling apart. The taxes are horrible. There's mold, bugs, vermin and the neighbors smell of Rottweiler dung. The village wasn't happy with one idiot so they all applied for the job. There's poverty, lousy weather, over population, drunkenness, noise, pollution, wretched depravity, corruption, reality television. It's a flippin' mess! There's more work here than one man can do in two lifetimes! How, by any stretch of the imagination is this a good place???"
"I'm here. Here take this hoe, we got some work to do."

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