The line outside heaven’s gate had become unusually long. Too long, in fact, that many believers, although close enough to even see the pearly gate, reverted to those blasted thorns in their sides, each one to his or her respective thorn. A few of the women started gossiping, a couple men were losing their tempers, and a guy in the front was boasting at his favored position. After all, they weren’t in heaven just yet, and Satan hadn’t thrown in the towel completely.
Andy, a tall, balding young man in his mid 20s, was losing his patience. “Hey,” he tapped the man’s shoulder in front of him, “do you know what the hold up is here?”
Tom, a boyish looking 40-something with a Dallas Cowboys jersey on, turned around. “You haven’t heard? They’re deadlocked in the war room.”
“War room?” Andy quizzically responded.
“You don’t know what a war room is?”
“Well, kinda. I mean, down on earth NFL teams commonly refer to their work stations on draft day as ‘war rooms,’ but certainly that couldn’t be…”
“There you go!” Tom interrupted with a ‘duh’-like expression.
Andy was clearly confused, but hadn’t the need to voice his befuddlement, for Tom quickly explained.
“Yeah, same thing in heaven. Word is, they can’t come to an agreement on who the Houston Texans should take as the number one pick in today’s NFL draft. Paul and the apostles are leaning towards Reggie Bush, but Moses and the patriarchs insist that all teams need a good quarterback to build their team around; those guys are such old schoolers.”
Andy had come to his senses enough to formulate a thought. “Wait a minute,” he ventured, “you’re telling me the reason my feet are starting to ache is because Moses and Paul are locked in a room arguing about who the Houston Texans should take as their number one draft pick…” His voice trailed off.
There was a short spell of silence while the thought permeated the conscience of both men.
“Are you crazy?” was the best Andy could come up with.
“Listen,” Tom replied, as though he considered himself an expert, “God appeases the patriarchs and the apostles every year come draft day. They all know that God is sovereign, and he’ll do what he wants, but he lets the boys have a little fun.” Tom yawned as he continued. “So he sets up a war room, stocks the fridge full of sodas, and lets ‘em have at it.”
A look of trepidation troubled Andy’s face. “So you mean to tell me that God actually cares about the NFL? Shouldn’t he be prompting doctors to cure cancer or world leaders to strive for world peace?”
“Nah, he’s got beauty pageant contestants for that.”
“Never mind, it was a joke. Listen,” Tom looked more impassioned than before. “Remember when Jesus was telling his apostles to be bold and not worry, because he knew the number of hairs on each of their heads?”
Andy felt another joke coming on, considering God had less and less hairs to count on his head each day.
But Tom refrained. “And what about the Sermon on the Mount? Jesus told the crowd that Solomon, in all his glory, was not clothed as beautifully as the lilies of the field. So if he clothed the lily, wouldn’t he take care of our needs?”
“Well, hairs on our heads and clothes on our backs are pretty small things, don’t you think?”
“The point is, God is in control of every thing, big or small, in the entire universe. Nothing happens by chance. He raised up Pharaoh to take on the Israelites. He told Hezekiah he was going to die, only to change his mind after Hezekiah prayed for mercy. Shoot, look what he let Satan do to Job, you know? He could’ve stopped it but he didn’t.” Tom paused as the wisdom of his words lingered in the air. “So what’s to stop God from leaving his eternal imprint on the Houston Texan franchise?”
“Wow, I never thought of it that way,” Andy concluded. “So who will God have them pick?”
Tom smiled. “I don’t know…they’re deadlocked.”
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