The word from on high

Bruce is MIA this week, so we offer this epistle he wrote for these pages in 1998, when Tim Tebow was 11 years old.

OK, heads up, all you athletes, jocks and rabid sports fans. God’s had it up to here with a strain of baloney He constantly sees in the sports pages of the western world. He has a few things to say at this time.

“I just would really like to tell all of you who are involved in professional and amateur sports¡ªI don’t care who wins your crazy little games. OK? You got that? I don’t care. Really. So, please, stop clogging the prayer waves with this endless begging to have Me help your favorite hockey team or your favorite football team or your favorite dog sled racer. And you horse racers are especially bad.

“Look, I don’t mean to whine. It’s just that when you pray for your football team to win a close game in December, it’s stunning how many of you jokers are actually hoping for some metaphysical intervention. You pray harder for touchdowns and interceptions than you pray for the souls of your closest friends. You pray to me for homes, field goals, rallies, even injuries to the opponents, and you’re as serious as a CAT scan. Pretty twisted.

“Second, realize that the other team’s fans are sending exactly the same number of prayers My way, asking for exactly the same thing. Capisce? What would you do it you were standing in my shoes, assuming you could shoe the unfathomably Almighty? What call would you make?

“Which leads Me to this: How many times have you heard a quarterback say something like, ‘That pass in the end zone with four seconds to go! I didn’t think it was gonna get to Rodney, but it did! I think the good Lord was watching out for us tonight!’? Well, hold on, my misguided friend. I wasn’t. I didn’t even watch. I love you and the other team and everybody on the field and everybody on the bench and in the stands and so on. In fact, I love the bleachers y’all were sitting in. That’s just My way, you know?

“But hey, pal, you made the throw and you did it with your muscles, blood, nerves and brain. No divine intervention whatsoever. Way to go. Go ahead and take the credit. Trust Me when I say our time will come, and when it does, I’m not going to be all that worked up about your touchdown totals.

“All right. I feel better. Just had to vent. One other thing: Quit killing tigers and bears in this hysterical search for things that will give old men erections. That’s really pissing Me off. You people are so hung up about sex. Now get outta here, stay busy and avoid those who are always searching for methamphetamine. Help somebody once in a while. Nothing fancy, just help. You’ll know what to do. Vaya con dios.”