Just a couple nights ago, I had a vision. I was in the presence of God, Almighty. For several hours, we talked about God's agenda. He wanted me to explain what was happening from a human perspective here on Earth. I had always assumed that God was not only almighty but also omnipresent, all-powerful, and all knowing. Here God was asking me to fill him in with the state of the Earth. As best as I can recall, the following is an excerpt of the main points of our conversation:

God> Sorry, if I have disturbed your slumbers, but I needed to talk with someone.

Al> No problem. What could I do for such a wise and caring one as you?

God> Well, I've had it and am really upset with the state of my creation. The rest of the universe is doing fairly well, but Earth is a pain in my divine back. I'm always being misquoted or interrupted to fit your particular view of me.

Al> Where have we missed your message?

God> Now, you'd better get real with me or else this conversation will end right now. What is under my skin is this nonsense about owning me for ones political or religious advantage.

Al> You mean that you are upset with bin Laden's holy war against us. Now, there is a nut case. If I were you, I would be really ticked-off. Why didn't you do something about that? You could have had him step onto a landmine or something. Frankly God, a lot of Christians don't understand why you are not more involved in putting that terrorist in his place. You know that he deserves it.

God> If I got even with him, I would need to get even with all others that misuse my name for their own benefit like you Americans. I have seen signs and songs all saying the same thing, "God Bless America."

Al> Well, don't you? You know we believe in you and follow your ways-don't we?

God> You're kidding aren't you? "Follow my ways?" How do you treat each other? There's racial injustice, women aren't always treated as equals, and then there are the poor and the hurting here in America-to say nothing of those who aren't Americans. In Afghanistan, the two warring sides call upon me to kill the other. If that weren't bad enough, in Northern Ireland you have two so-called Christian groups fighting and even killing over who is closer to the truth and me. Who do you think is closer?

Al> I guess the answer would be that neither is.

God> You've got that right. Then we have the Middle East, what you like to call the Holy Lands. Get real. Holy? What's holy about that area of the world today? There you have Jews and Muslims fighting over the holy shrines. Even Christians occasionally get into it also. And what is crazy about this is that all three of these world religions started there.

Al> Well.

God> Well, what? Then there is India and Pakistan. They are killing and fighting over Kashmir because of religious reasons also.

Al> I see your point.

God> I wish that others saw it. In the Balkans, the Eastern Orthodox are fighting Muslims. At least the godless Communist under Tito kept that religious war under wraps for decades. People in the Philippines, Indonesia, and throughout the world are killing and maiming others in my name. Every religion thinks that it owns me, and that I am its very own God. How many gods do they think there are anyway? You know, I think that John Lennon got it right in his song, "Imagine?"

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Al> Why would you agree with those lyrics? Lennon thought that if we did away with religion, it would solve all our problems. That's pretty cynical. What would we do if we didn't have you and our religions?

God> Maybe then, there would be peace. I'm not a God of war but of peace. Believe me, I'm getting sick and tired of being implored by this country or that or this religion or that one to beat up upon the other country or religion. The last time that I was so irritated was when I talked to Noah. Then the flood came.

Al> That's scary. Are you telling me that we are going to have a flood or a fire next time? Are you letting me into your plans? If you think that I'm going to convince anybody, you are wrong.

God> No, you are off the hook. Heavens, they didn't listen to Noah, I am sure that they wouldn't listen to you. It just peeves me to see all the trappings of religion and then watch the way you treat each other. I'm really irked.

Al> Well, what are you planning on doing?

God> Well, I'm planning on going on sabbatical for a while. If you won't do it my way, then go ahead and do it your way. Hate people who aren't like you. Kill and maim those with whom you disagree. See if you are any happier doing it your way. Maybe, after I've been absent for a while and let you go at it with each other, then you will believe and behave with love, mercy, and forgiveness to all. Until then, I'm going on sabbatical. Good luck.

I awoke in a cold sweat and even more frightened about the future.

This article appeared in the Dixon Telegraph on 2/11/02.