Satire Fiction posted January 11, 2012


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Maybe we need an eleventh commandment...

The Jock and Divine Inspiration

by another jim

Dialogue Only Prompt Contest Winner 

"Not again..."

"What?"

"I'm not sure I should tell you. You might take it the wrong way."

"C'mon, Lord, I'm your confidential secretary. You can tell me anything."

"Perhaps you're right... Tell me something, Jack: Are you a football fan?"

"When I was still alive I was. But being God's right-hand man consumes way too much of my time now."

"Ever heard of Tim Tebow?"

"Heard of him? Hell...I mean, um, heck, yes. He's that nice young man who keeps thanking his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every time he accomplishes something noteworthy, right? And if he's not thanking your son, he's pointing his index finger into the sky to acknowledge your help whenever he runs for a first down or completes a pass or—"

"That's the one."

"What about him?"

"He just genuflected in the end zone again. And bowed his head. And said a prayer."

"And...?"

"And he's starting to annoy me."

"Annoy you? I thought you liked being appreciated."

"I do, but... How well do you know your Bible, Jack?"

"You need to ask? I thought you were all-knowing."

"Humor me, Jack. Answer the question."

"I could probably spend a little more time reading it..."

"A little more time? Why, you haven't cracked the binding on your Bible in days!"

"I know, I know. I've been busy reading Stephen King's latest, all 800 pages of it, and—"

"Eight hundred forty-nine pages."

"Now you get omniscient. So, what's your point, boss?"

"Do you recall the Gospel of Matthew?"

"The Sermon on the Mount, the Lord's Prayer... Sure. It's one of my favorites."

"Mine, too. I'm especially fond of the sixth verse of the sixth chapter. Know it?

"Like the back of my wings. 'But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.'"

"Do you know the modern-day meaning of those words, Jack?"

"Sure. People should use a little discretion when they pray."

"Exactly. Ostentatious prayer has no place in my kingdom."

"And this Tebow kid?"

"Oh, he means well. They all do."

"And by 'they' you mean...?"

"Mankind in general. Athletes in particular."

"Those jocks do get a little carried away, don't they? Would you like to smite one of them, just to set an example? I can rearrange your schedule next weekend and... You're scowling at me. I'll take that as a 'no,' Lord."

"Understand, it's not just their ignorance of my holy words that I find so maddening. It's the unintended fallout from their actions that makes my job so difficult."

"I'm not sure that I get your meaning."

"Allow me to explain. Do you know that these athletes pray before every game? In essence, each team asks me to take their side in whatever competition they're about to undertake. It's as if they expect me to grant favors based on...what? The most colorful mascot? The largest fan base? Playing all their home games in the Bible Belt?"

"Well, Alabama did win in that college football championship last Monday..."

"And yet, Jack, both teams prayed for a victory."

"Interesting. So tell me, why did you pick 'Bama to win?"

"I didn't. You of all people should know that I don't play favorites. I never have and I never will. The problem is that most people of faith believe otherwise...and that's why these prayerful displays complicate things. They create false beliefs."

"Like the belief that it was your hand guiding young Mr. Tebow into the end zone. His actions on the field are evidence that he certainly believes that."

"As do many others. But it's not true, Jack. Because if it were, then I would have to be equally willing and able to hamper his opponents' play. Help or hinder—we both know that that would be cheating."

"Still, people want to believe that their heroes owe their success to you, The Almighty. That's what this fascination with Tebowing is all about."

"So you understand my predicament?"

"I think so."

"The cynics love to point to the actions of certain athletes and use the inconsistencies in their logic to discredit the faithful."

"That they do."

"It's why my son relayed that simple message through Matthew's teachings: Pray often, but pray privately. To do otherwise cheapens the act itself and makes it somehow less sincere."

"Got it."

"It's like those who undertake a charitable act. They should do so quietly—or better yet, anonymously. Those who seek public accolades for performing a simple act of charity miss the point. Agreed?"

"Agreed."

"Jack?"

"Yes, Lord?"

"Young Tebow plays for the Denver Broncos, yes?"

"That's right."

"And you placed a rather large bet on Denver to win the game this Saturday, did you not?"

"I did."

"You know that I cannot and will not influence the outcome of that game, correct?"

"I know it now, yes, Lord."

"Would you like me to share the outcome of that game with you, Jack? I am prescient, you know."

"You would do that?"

"Not really. After all, that would be cheating."

"I think I'll go read my Bible."

"Great idea, Jack. By the way, is that Stephen King book any good?"

"You tell me."

Writing Prompt
Write a story using only dialogue. No narration, descriptions, or sentence tags. Maximum word count: 1,000

Dialogue Only Prompt
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