Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:13-23 KJV)
I was excited and more than a little nervous.
I finally had my appointment with God. 3.15pm on a Tuesday afternoon.
I had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity joining an endless line of colorless souls queuing up to receive their appointments, slowly shuffling up the line, until I was given my fifteen minute slot.
This was the final judgement after all. Personalized attention and quality time with God in which he would assess my life, my heart would be weighed, and then my fate would be decided. So it really in the end all came down to this.
I knocked on the door and entered God’s consulting room.
It was bare, threadbare, like a poor Shipibo family house. No curtains, no soft furnishings at all.
In fact, there was no furniture apart from two uncomfortable looking hard chairs sat at right angles to one another and a small knee-high wooden table with a sheaf of papers on it. In the far corner of the room, bolted to the wall, high up, was a cheap television set.
God was slumped on one of the hard chairs watching daytime TV. He turned to acknowledge me. His face was sunken and he had dark bags under his eyes.
“God”, I said, “You look tired.”
“I am tired”, he replied.
“You know”, he continued, “I’ve had it with all this judgement. I need a break. Come and sit down with me and let’s watch the game show.”
So I sat down with God and we watched the game show.
“What about my judgement?” I said after a while, seeing that the fifteen minutes were nearly up.
“Don’t worry about that“, he said. “That will take care of itself.”
I left thinking that the poor Christian God is weary of judgement, depleted and trapped by our expectations of him.