If you are reading this—which of course you are because you’re reading this—try not to look like your reading it. Play it cool. Be nonchalant about it. Read on, but don’t let on that your reading on. Even if you are alone, be cool. You are never alone. And that is what I need to tell you.
God is watching. No, seriously. God is watching. He is watching you all the time, no matter what you are doing. The Guy never blinks, and never looks away. Creepy isn’t it? But don’t let on. You might piss Him off.
You see He wants you to act in a certain way, to love Him and to love your neighbor, but He wants this to be genuine. Don’t love Him because He tells you to love Him. That’s not real love, that’s just following orders. So you have to love Him, but you have to love Him freely. The fact that you can’t link “have to” with “freely” is the really hard part of this. And that is why He is watching you.
Two psychologists at the University of British Columbia have proven that people behave more nicely when they are being watched. This is true even if the eyes watching them aren’t real. They tacked a poster of a person over a charity jar and found that people donated three times as much money when the poster was up than when it wasn’t. Which proves that unless someone is watching or at least we feel like someone is watching we would be a lot worse than we are. And we are pretty bad as it is. Scary, isn’t it?
Maybe this is why people hang posters of their gods in their homes, or put god dolls around their rooms? Maybe this is why religions teach that God is watching us all the time? Do they know that unless we feel watched we would behave like wild murderous beasts? Do they know that we would be less apt to donate money to religious causes and institutions if we didn’t believe God was watching?
I think it is. But I can’t be sure. And ever since I read the article about the British Columbia experiment in THE WEEK (October 24, 2008) I have felt the eyes of God on me everywhere. Even in the bathroom. Weird.
But here’s my problem: I know God is looking, I don’t know which God is looking. I know I’ve got to behave and to love God, but I can’t tell which God to love and obey.
I’m afraid that if I think it’s YHVH and it turns out to Allah, I’m screwed. Or if I think it’s the Catholic Jesus and it turns out to be the Southern Baptist Jesus, I’m doomed. I’m hoping it is the elephant headed God Ganesha because he seems so much more pleasant than the others, but who knows? And if you did know and then just loved God because you knew you had to, then your love wouldn’t really be love at all, and you would be doomed anyway.
That’s why I don’t want God to see you reading this. Pretend you don’t know that God is watching, and pretend that your love is spontaneous and genuine and not just a ploy to avoid burning in Hell for all eternity. Oh, and pray that God is really really stupid so He won’t catch on. Oh, and pray that He doesn’t really hear your prayers so He won’t know you know.