Hedged Bets

“I had to invent death because none of you hold still long enough to sort out what matters,” God told me this morning as I rushed around, distracted, getting ready for a demanding day.

“Well, that sounds vindictive,” I said. The toast was burned, and I’d just poured sour cream in my coffee.  “Inventing death might be creative, but I assume you’re aware that the living prefer to stay alive.”

“I know,” God admitted. “I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet, but I have good intentions.”

The Subdivisions of God began their own conversation. The Source of Transformation looked down at her hands. “I’m not proud of causing so much fear,” she admitted to the others. “And such grief.”

Liquid God spoke from the banks of the drought-reduced river. “It is in sorrow and weakness they find their way,” he said. “But it’s hard to accept drying  up, having less to offer.”

God the Rodeo tried to sell everyone tickets, promising rides on the bucking broncs, but the Rest of God refused. “I’m sick and tired of the cacophony,” she said, her voice deep and mountainous, her presence profoundly still.

I wanted the others to go away. I wanted only her.

“See?” God said, merging back into Oneness.

“No, I don’t see,” I protested. “Being surrounded by peace is different than being dead.”

“Is it?” God asked. “How would you know?”

“Just a hunch.” I shrugged. Then I reached into my pocket and pulled out a fat roll of rodeo tickets. “Hedging my bets,” I admitted with a sheepish grin.

The corral gate swung open, and God the Rodeo raced toward me on a shiny black stallion. “Let’s go, pardner!” he hollered.

I ran toward him, and just like in the movies, God reached down and swung me up on the back of the sweaty horse. I wrapped my arms tight around his lean waist, and together, we galloped madly toward what we knew was the setting sun.

To my astonishment, I saw the Rest of God ahead, clearing away debris from the flood. And Liquid God had pooled up so we could quench our thirst. The surface of the water was so smooth there was no difference between my reflection and my face.

With reverence, we dismounted and kneeled to drink.