Divinely Ordained by Andrea Conover

            John Smith rolled over and batted at the top of his alarm until it stopped beeping. He groaned and stubbornly shut his eyes, sinking his face deeper into his pillow, until, with a start, he remembered that this was His Day. He steeled his resolve and told himself it was Divinely Ordained that he get up immediately. He got up.

            John quickly performed his morning ablutions and dressed for work. He dithered momentarily over which tie to wear: the red or the blue? The consequences of the wrong decision on this day could haunt him into the afterlife. He quickly asked God which tie to wear. He waited a moment and, after hearing no response, he steeled his resolve and told himself it was Divinely Ordained that he wear the blue tie. He put on the blue tie.

            John’s wife had already laid out his breakfast for him and she brushed an absentminded kiss across his cheek as she poured his coffee. He smiled at her, already distracted by the work there was to be done at the office. Breakfast passed quickly and he was soon driving to work. The traffic was worse than usual. He prayed for the cars in front of him to speed up, then sat at a complete stand-still for thirty minutes. It must be Divinely Ordained that he be late. He was late.

            John knew that any interaction he had with the people in his office could potentially lead to their salvation on His Day, so he decided to pay careful attention to whoever was stuck in the elevator with him. He prayed that this other person would be receptive to His Message. He steeled his resolve and told himself it was Divinely Ordained that he plant the seed of Good Works within this person, whoever they may be. No one joined him in the elevator.

            John stepped confidently out of the elevator. No matter that he had been alone in the elevator; he prayed that other opportunities were Divinely Ordained to arise throughout the day and so they must be. It was thoroughly unfortunate, therefore, that both a political scandal and a major sports event had occurred the night before. Half the office assumed that his blue tie was worn in defiant support of the disgraced politician and the other half of the office assumed that it was worn in defiant support of the winning team, which was unpopular in the area. While it may have been Divinely Ordained that other conversational opportunities should arise throughout the day, none occurred as John walked from the elevator to his office. He steeled his resolve and told himself it must be Divinely Ordained that he get a lot of work done that morning. He did not, in fact, get a lot of work done that morning, as the secretary had misfiled all of the necessary reports for the third time that month. He prayed for Patience, then realized he had already been Merciful for the two previous errors. He would send a memo to HR to have her fired, but he doubted she’d successfully deliver it.

            John managed to rearrange his paperwork by lunchtime, so as to hopefully catch up on his work throughout the afternoon. John was going to simply have lunch in his office so that he did not have to face any more of the distressful situations that had plagued him all morning, but luckily he remembered that this was His Day, and he still had not had an important conversation with anyone, though he knew it must be Divinely Ordained to occur since he had prayed for it earlier that morning. He steeled his resolve and told himself it was Divinely Ordained that he have a conversation with someone in the popular restaurant across the street with his coworkers. He had lunch at the popular restaurant across the street, but none of his coworkers joined him because his secretary had bought pizza to celebrate her friend and coworker’s birthday.

            John finished his work that afternoon, then had a lonely elevator ride to the ground floor. He had a normal drive home. His wife had prepared dinner, so he absently smiled at her and enjoyed every bite. That evening he enjoyed a drink and read a passage from the Bible before going to sleep. Perhaps tomorrow he would have that Divinely Ordained Conversation.

Posted on November 17, 2016 and filed under Creative Expression.