Last month, after six grueling months of work, I decided to go on vacation. I went to New Haven, Connecticut, for my 25th college reunion, and then to Manhattan for a week of fun. The trip was wonderful!
New Haven, Connecticut
Central Park, Manhattan
The skies were clear, the air was warm, the trees were full and green. Nature was in full glory.
Then I returned to Oklahoma.
The grass was brown and the air was suffocatingly hot. And this was just the beginning! Within a week, the tornadoes arrived.
Farms were destroyed and houses were demolished. The following week brought hail, which damaged countless cars and homes.
Then came torrential rains, which flooded the city, submerging highways and power lines.
I began to think about my lovely vacation in the Northeast and my incom-modious return to Oklahoma. I wondered why Oklahoma has the worst weather in America. Then I reflected on Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Soon I was contemplating the planet and, ultimately, the universe.
Final analysis: I've lived in the South for most of my life. People here are super-nice. They care about each other and live quiet, productive lives. They go to church and pray regularly; yet, they always find themselves at the center of a disaster. In fact, the disaster-per-capita ratio is higher in the South than anywhere else. Sure, New York and California have their problems, but they're not in constant climatic turmoil. Where I live, crisis is the norm, and prayer seems to make things worse. In fact, studies show an inverse cor-relation between prayer and good weather.
Which leads me to conclude: Satan is in charge of the world. I hate to admit it, but that's what the data show. Now ask yourself: Can we ignore the Evil One?
I think not. So let me cut to the chase: I've decided to worship Satan.
Please understand: I'm not going to worship Satan instead of God. I'm going to worship Satan and God.
You see, I love God. I've been worshipping God since childhood. He is the Author of goodness, love, and compassion -- and nothing is more important than goodness, love, and compassion. So please don't think I'm being churlish when I say that I wish God were just a teensy bit more results-oriented. I know His Heart is in the right place -- and that's great. But I think we could all benefit from an action plan from time to time.
Satan, of course, is Pure Evil. I despise His whole agenda. But let's face it: He gets the job done. In fact, he's an over-achiever. Consider the weather in Oklahoma. Just a few inches of rain would have flooded the city. Satan gave us eleven inches. Golf ball-size hail would have damaged the roof. He gave us baseball-size hail. A single tornado would have frightened us. He gave us fourteen in a single day! Frankly, if I had half of Satan's "can do" attitude, I could retire tomorrow.
Next question: Do we really have to choose between God and Satan?
Short answer: No.
Americans feel compelled to take sides in every argument. In baseball, we root for one team or the other, never both. It's the same with the deities. We think we have to choose God or Satan when, in fact, both have something to offer.
I know what you're going to say: "Steve, deities tend to be jealous of each other, so what if Satan asks you to renounce God, or vice versa?"
Well, okay, you've got me. No doubt, if that happens, I'll be in a pickle. But here's what I suspect: If push comes to shove, I'll probably stay with God. You see, goodness, love, and compassion are very important, especially in bad weather.
But remember, I said probably. If I have to replace one more damaged shingle or broken window, I'm tearing up the Celestial Contract. Sure, I believe in love and compassion, but just once I'd like to be on the winning side.