I’m not a big fan of Nietzsche, he’s just too deep for me, but this quote caught my attention recently and I think he might be on to something important. It might have even inspired the dream I had last night. Please follow along and see if his words seem to echo my thoughts.
I dreamed I died in my sleep last night. It might have been a massive coronary but that part wasn’t really too clear. Dead is dead, all that matters is what comes next. Then I’m at the back of the line waiting for my turn at the Pearly Gates. It was an awfully long line and a bench or two would have been nice. I guess it’s just Heaven’s way of getting us used to eternity. So I’m standing there next to Neil Armstrong, who died last fall, and I can’t help asking, “Does it always take this long?” Neil realizes I’m new, tries not to be annoyed, and then he reminds me, “A lot of people get turned down and they always take longer because they argue and whine about everything. The lawyers are the worst; those guys can talk forever about nothing. I even saw one guy who tried to bill for his time.”
As we inch closer to the front gate, I start to notice some big data that begs for analysis. For one thing, far more men are getting turned away than women and they are really shocked that high dollar suits and fancy shoes don’t seem to give them any edge up here. And titles like CEO, CFO, COO, CIO and Executive this or that just get laughed at with gleeful impunity. It turns out, we are all considered equal in the eyes of God and no amount of window dressing gets us a better place at his table. I can see Armstrong is thinking along these same lines as well and he turns to ask me, “I wonder how he feels about astronauts?” Since Neil and I are fraternity brothers (Phi Delta Theta) I offered to give him my personal recommendation and attest to his character, when his turn comes. He gives me that look like he’s thinking, “Oh boy, what’s that going to be worth,” but then he just nods and smiles.
The time drags on until finally there’s a commotion way up front near the gates. Word gets passed back that Michael Jackson’s attorney wants to be able to move Michael up to the front of the line without waiting any longer. Pretty soon someone comes on the loudspeaker and makes an announcement, “We have 4,953 Mike Jackson’s currently in line, which one are you talking about?” 4952 of them actually raise their hands and they take the tallest one. The attorney starts to rant and rave again and then disappears into thin air. The PA booms again, “Does anybody else have a problem?” Not surprisingly, all the other hands come down immediately.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, which in this case it was, I got close enough to actually see the Pearly Gates. Given my religious background, I’m looking for St. Peter but I can’t seem to find him anywhere. There seems to be only one person who is really in charge and it’s a woman. This is going to sound crazy but she looks just like Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies. She even sounds like Granny and clearly, she is the boss. I strain to hear what she is saying to a well-dressed man who just entered the gates, “Senator who? Heck, no. You’re in the wrong place! NEXT!” Granny continues to dole out judgment without hesitation and I see Andy Williams get in just because she really liked Moon River and Andy always smiled a lot.
More time passes, I guess, and Neil Armstrong finally gets his shot. Granny looks him over and asks one question, “What were you really thinking when you walked on the moon?” Neil pauses, obviously trying to find the right answer and then says, “I want to be the first man to ever take a leak on the moon.” Granny peers out over the top of her bifocals and says, “I knew it. Every man wants to do that. At least you’re honest. Welcome to Heaven, Mr. Armstrong.”
Now it’s my turn and I’m still looking for St. Peter. Granny grabs me by the arm and says, “He ain’t here. Been retired for a long time.” So then I ask to see God because I’m just that stupid. Granny shoots up out of her rocker and locks eyes with me, “I’m the God you’ve been praying to all your life. How do like them apples?” My brain shuts down but my mouth keeps going, “But God is my Father and you’re a woman?” Granny laughs out loud and says, “We’re a team, God is your Father and your Mother. Your Father went fishing today with Jacques Cousteau and he left me in charge. I do most of the work around here anyway so passing out judgments isn’t that hard.” My brain finally starts to function again and then I just roll my eyes and let out a smirk, “That’s just my luck. I swear Granny, I meant to call all those girls back in high school and I only drove over the speed limit when I had to or it was a nice day. I tried to do it right and be a good person. I washed my share of dishes and did some laundry. I never took your name in vain even though my church attendance could have been better if there weren’t any games on Sundays. I worked hard all my life and what about all those foster kids I helped, that should be worth something.” Granny just kept rocking and listening until she held up one finger and said, “How come you never asked me to dance?” I wasn’t sure where she was going with this question so I said, “Because I didn’t know how to dance and I didn’t want to embarrass myself.” Granny was obviously irritated by this answer and I thought I was done but then she smiled and said, “If you’ll dance with me now, all is forgiven.” The next thing I know, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs are playing some bluegrass music and Granny and I are cutting a rug. When the song is over, Granny gives me a hug and says, “I like your blog so I was going to forgive you anyway but I just wanted to see if you believed in your Heavenly Mother. I have always loved you and even though your dancing sucks, I want you to be with me in Heaven. Now please go get in line for Gene Kelly’s dance class.”
Now that’s the kind of God I’m talking about. Thanks Nietzsche.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.