By Craig Funston
In one of those wild moments during a slow morning recently, I got this really crazy idea of being God for a day. As bizarre and irreverent as it sounds, my rationale is as follows: What would happen to my world, your world, everyone’s world, if the Designer of everything had complete control of His creation—for even just one day? He is in charge, I may add, but the point is, how many even care?
You can enjoy the following thoughts, friends, even if you don’t believe in the biblical God. You may have a god of your own making, no God at all, or some cosmic deity. Or maybe you don’t even give a hoot.
First, if you have a god of your own making, go ahead and compare yours with mine; second, if you don’t believe in any form of deity, then this is just silly reading for you, but I do dare you to read on; and third, if the god you believe in is an impersonal, detached celestial killjoy, well, do I have news for you.
By the way, I’m not here to convert, just challenge; not to save, just stimulate. I don’t believe my mandate for this column allows for proselytism.
One of my first mandates, in that twenty-four-hour window, would be to get everyone to read the Good Book. Not quite sure why, but to this day it has been banned from most significant institutions, and even many churches don’t seem to give it the credibility it deserves.
Twenty-four hours isn’t very long, so I would quickly get people to read the Good Book. It wouldn’t take long for them to find models of, and solutions to the following: justice, family life, economics, climate change, work ethic, social matters, education, and many other pressing topics. You would find some surprises in its pages.
In the first few hours, I would firstly point them to, say, the passage on the Ten Commandments. Trust me, if we even followed the spirit of the Ten Commandments and the world improves overnight. And not just the world, but your community, your home, and yes, you (which includes me).
The Ten Commandments are not as highly regarded as they should be; to be sure, it’s a piece of ancient literature that far too many people ignore. Not quite clear why: Even our legal system has its roots in the so-called Decalogue. I wonder how much better things would be?
Surely you must know some of them: honour your parents, don’t steal other peoples’ things, no fooling around, tell the truth—just for starters. There are six others, but I think I would have my hands full, in my limited time, trying to get these extremely practical ones off the ground.
Would the world you live in be a better place if kids honoured their parents? Dumb question. What about stealing—the breaking and entering kind, the mugging kind, even the political kind? Another dumb question. And the whole sex thing, completely out of control at every level: Would we be better off with keeping our hands to ourselves? Yes, I do know the answer. And lying: What a great world we would have if no one fooled, flattered, or fibbed anymore!
To expand on these thoughts, I would need a year of columns, but I won’t burden you with that. Just read it for yourself.
In the remaining few hours, I would probably shift to justice. You do know where the phrase “eye for an eye” comes from, don’t you? Right: the Good Book. It teaches that if you do the crime, you do the time. It teaches that there are consequences for actions; some not as severe as others, but consequences nonetheless. Ultimately, the “wages of sin is death” says it all. Pretty heavy stuff, but it rings true, doesn’t it?
I think that means that our streets, homes, and public places would be a lot safer. Not sure if I would go as far as stoning, but I suggest that if the little things were dealt with judiciously, we wouldn’t need to sweat the big stuff.
Time would run out before I could go to the Good Book and teach the world about true, workable social programmes, carried out within the context of a larger, supportive community—sans government intervention. And space forbids the clear, honouring relationship men should pay towards their wives and other women. Radical stuff, you know, but implemented correctly, it works.
Frankly, to be honest with you, I think I would make a terrible God. I’ll leave the running of the universe to Him, and the reading of His book to you.