Mr. SponsorPants: God?
Mr. SP: Thank you.
GOD: You're welcome. Anything special you're grateful for right now? Or is this another one of your blanket, sweeping "I'm working on my attitude and my gratitude" kinds of prayers.
Mr. SP: No, I'm grateful for something specific -- deeply grateful. But, you know those general thank you's -- I always deeply mean those, too.
GOD: You sure you want to go with that? Gonna let that statement stand, are you?
Mr. SP: Wellllll... how about I often mean it, and when I don't, I'm sincerely trying to mean it, and very occasionally -- I would go so far as to say rarely, even -- I am mmmaybe saying I'm grateful -- or willing -- to try to get You or the Universe or Whatever to give me something I want -- but only rarely! Usually I really mean it.
GOD: Okay. I'll buy that. What, right now, are you specifically grateful for?
Mr. SP: Today, really -- and I suppose after all this time it's silly to make a big deal out of it -- I'm grateful for my sobriety. I don't mean it's silly to be grateful for being sober, I just mean I've said 'thank you' for my sobriety so often that ... well, it's a gratitude constant. But I just ... I have maybe never been more aware of how, without the Grace that You have given me, I wouldn't stand a chance against my alcoholism. Alone I wouldn't last a week. Maybe not even a day... an hour...
GOD: Five minutes.
Mr. SP: Hey!
GOD: You started the countdown, I was just keeping with the theme. But I must say, Mr. SponsorPants, it is quite deft of you to be able to go from gratitude to indignation so quickly.
Mr. SP: Uh, yeah. Sorry.
GOD: Don't mention it.
Mr. SP (mutters): Well, actually, You mentioned it.
Mr. SP: Nothing. Nothing -- never mind. Look, we're off track, and truly, I am profoundly grateful for being sober today. All week I have witnessed the breathtaking scope of addiction; its cunning, its insanity, the dark magic it works in peoples' minds, to make the very thing that will destroy them the only thing they think they want -- or the only choice they think they can make. Today I am so humbled and grateful that I am sober... just ... just, thank you, God.
GOD: You're welcome. But...
Mr. SP: But? You have a 'but'?
GOD: But I hear the other thing. I hear the question, Mr. SponsorPants. I hear it even though you haven't asked it. I hear it chanted in your secret heart, over and over sometimes. Go ahead, Mr. SponsorPants. Ask.
Mr. SP: Won't You be mad if I do?
GOD: Do you believe in a God that gets mad at you?
Mr. SP (laughs): Actually, no. I haven't believed that for a long, long time.
GOD: Then ask.
Mr. SP (whispers): Why me?
GOD: 'Why you' what?
Mr. SP: Why did You extend Grace to me? Why did I get such a precious gift, when all this week -- hell, for more than 20 years, really -- I have seen men and women who seem, to me at least, equally deserving (if not more so) than I am of receiving your Grace?
GOD: The best answer I can offer you, Mr. SponsorPants, is actually to ask you a question in return.
Mr. SP (mutters): Great. Gonna be cryptic. I hate cryptic.
GOD: What was that?
Mr. SP: Not important. Sorry. So You are answering my question with a question. Right. Okay. Shoot.
GOD: What makes you think that I didn't give those people Grace as well? Their path -- and their choices -- are between them and Me, Mr. Sponsorpants. I'm afraid you haven't the capacity to fully grasp more than that. Your job is to be helpful to people on their path, not to try to understand their path. But more than that, tell Me, what makes you think, deep down, in all these comparisons with others you seem so fond of some days, that you aren't every bit as deserving of My Grace as anyone else?
Mr. SP: Well, I never really... hey! Waitaminute. That answer was actually 2 questions.
GOD: Yes, but since you're not good at math, I didn't think you'd notice.
Mr. SP: Could You make me good at math?
GOD: Make you good at math? Oh, come now, Mr. SponsorPants, some miracles are too much even for Me to perform.
Mr. SP: Hey! Okay, now that was a cheap shot! You know, I can always choose another Higher Power if I have to...
GOD: Go ahead. Be My guest... (mutters) still won't make you good at math.
Mr. SP: I heard that!