Sunday, 22 November 2020

God's Schoolroom.

God has popped out of his school room for a ten minutes, and we get a peek inside.  What would God learn if he had to go to school like human kids? Well, lucky for us, we did get a look at his classroom.  

This is God's classroom.  Here are some of the things he's working on.  Those are not 
Hula Hoops crisps there, they are Holy Hoops.  God prefers them. 

This is another painting in the series "God's Life".  I have imagined that God lives as we mortals do, and has all the same rites of passage that we do.  In this painting, where we see inside God's classroom, I have given God all the projects, essays, reading material that an up and coming deity would need.  His paintings are even displayed on the wall, where he is quite rightly very proud of them.  We get to see and admire what he is working on right now.

The God in this series is from the traditional Christian story. This is what I grew up with, and know and love.  The Bible, the Christian holy book, is full of wonderful stories, accounts, poetry, miracles and proverbs.  It is written in two parts, the Old Testament which deals with the creation of the world, with all Godly stuff before the birth of Jesus, and the New Testament which deals with the birth of Jesus, and of his life, times and death. 

I had so much fun creating these witty, silly, happy paintings.  I love the idea that God is not an unapproachable entity, existing far away from us, waiting impatiently for us to annoy him so he can smite us and feel he's done a good job.  The God of my dreams is in every part of my life, and lives it with me.  My God loves a laugh, eats too much and has to sit down a lot.  Just like me.  So the God in this painting, in all of the God's Life paintings, is quite simply, one of us.  Let us begin, let us see what is going on in the divine schoolroom.

Here is a book open on the schoolroom floor.  It is called "The Essential Deity.  A compendium of Dos and Don'ts."  Any young God will have to be trained up well for the responsibility of looking after the world.  There are going to be times when his patience will be tested and so it is necessary for him to remember that he has been trained in the following, and will have ticked the box to make sure these attributes were there in him.  Have you got, the checklist says, Grace, Light, Mercy, Righteousness and Goodness?   Have you got Perfection, Faithfulness, Holiness, Justice and Gentleness?  And then, the book gives some very good advice.  "When the going gets tough, Transcend."

Here on the right is what is on God's desk.  First, an apple for breaktime.  But it is from Eden.  The garden of Eden was where the first people God created lived, called Adam and Eve.  They were forbidden to eat apples from the tree of knowledge - which was fine until an evil serpent came and tempted Eve to eat the apple.  She did so, gave some to Adam and because God knows everything, he knew, got cross and banished them both from the beautiful garden for ever.  But God, who already knows everything despite being here in a schoolroom, can eat the apples.  Theoretically, he made them in the first place. Also on God's desk is a book he is reading, and seems to have written too.  "It's Nice Up Here", an autobiography by God.  Chapter one is "A Head For Heights".  As many imagine, God lives way above the world, probably, a long way up in space amongst the stars, so he is beginning his story with how he has to have a head for heights.  Next to this are some subjects for an essay.  Onmi means all, or every.  The pun is on God being already all things and everywhere.  So omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotency are huge subjects.  He is being asked to think about how to fit it all in, and discuss. 

In the old Testament, the great prophet Moses was handed ten commandments, or ten instructions, by God, on a mountain top.  These were inscribed on tablets of stone, and were a template of how to live under God's rules.  These are the corner stones of a good Christian life.  Here is God's first try at them. He got these more or less right, but they will need some refinement. His commandments here on this first try are -

1. Thou shalt love me to pieces  2. No photos  3. Be rude about me and I'll hear you  4. One day a week is all about me  5. Thy parents are always right  6. Thou shalt not do any smiting, ever  7. Keep your hands to yourself  8. Thou shalt not nick anything  9. No telling fibs about people  10. Leave your neighbour's stuff alone

and in time would become these, that Moses could take seriously -

1. Thou shalt worship no other god  2.  Thou shalt not make any graven images  3. Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain  4. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy  5. Honour thy father and thy mother  6. Thou shalt not kill  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery  8. Thou shalt not steal  9. Thou shalt not tell false witness against thy neighbour  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, wife or possessions.

But there were a few goes to even get the first ten up and running.

In every school, there is the football, or cricket, or rugby team.  Or whatever sport a school may play.  Here, God plays rugby and has done well, as the God Squad first fifteen.  Being the only one of his kind, his team are angels.  On the shelf below are boxes of spare feathers of the angel wings that become damaged.  Playing in the first fifteen must cause much mayhem to wings, so there are two boxes ready to mend them after the game.

Angels probably have a lot of wear and tear on their wings anyway, so it's good to have this repair kit on hand in the schoolroom.

The creation myth is fundamental in so many belief systems.  The Christian story is that God made the world in seven days.  He created a new thing on six consecutive days, and on the seventh, he rested.  The seventh day is known as the sabbath, the day of rest, the day to remember God in church services and prayers.  In older times, Christians were not allowed to do any work at all on a Sunday, and attended church many times during the day. 

Here is the order in which God created the world. Day one, light and dark.  Day two, clouds and water.  Day three, land and plants.  Day four, planets and stars.  Day five, fish and birds.  Day six, man and land animals.  Day seven, rest, the sabbath. 

So we have in the schoolroom, a first attempt to describe creating the world.  It's up on the wall as the "creating the world project" and like the ten commandments, will need some refining and tweaking to make it sound more serious.  God's day 1 is about creating light.  He has a light bulb and a lightening bolt.  For day 2, he made some blue stuff, and added some clouds. This would be the sky.

 Great. Going well. Day 3 God experiments and puts hydrogen and oxygen together and 

comes up with the sea.  He manages to make some land too, and then gets bored.  He makes vegetables, and decides he likes carrots best. 

Day 4 sees the making of the sun, moon and stars, but he doesn't know what to call them yet.  He just says he made some of these, and points to them.  

Day 5 is more taxing.  He says "decided fish best in sea.  Birds not lasting long in sea, best in sky.  Made something called Nessie.  V funny (secret)." here God realises the birds live in the air, not lasting long under water.  As a joke, he invents the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) too, and keeps it a secret, so we will be constantly surprised by seeing her, and not sure what it actually is. 

Day 6 is even more exciting, God says he went mad and created people.  As an after thought, he gave them some animals to play with, and draws on his project plan an elephant and a cat.  Finally, on day 7 God is pooped.  He slept late and took the day off.  He had created the world, and this was a good time to take a break.  This would end up as Sunday, church day, the day Christians dedicate to their spiritual life.

Still in a creative mood, we have God's self portrait.  It is the self portrait of the week, but it would be, there is only one of him and so he would have to win.  No one knows the face of God, if he has one.  Perhaps he does not have one, and is as God depicts himself here, a huge burst of light.  
Next to the portrait is the schoolroom clock.  Here we get a bit esoteric, as time is a construct in the mind of man, some say.  And so God only has a clock for form's sake.  The numbers go round the face of it, and there are no hands, just a symbol of infinity from the point of creation outwards. Around the clock, as if to explain this, are the words "Ah, but there is no time (or is there?...)".  This is a nice little cliff edge for God to leave us upon, as he could, should he want to, invent time and make it quite a recognisable physical thing. But he has not done so. Yet.  

Basic Geography is next.  It really is basic.  It is about the world being created, the Big Bang where on the Before globe there is a mere dot of existance which may, or may not, be God.  And for the After globe, we have the Big Bang itself, and we infer the world is made and from that will come Geography.  A study of the physical features of the earth and atmosphere, and human activity on the earth. This is very basic pre-Geography.

Some useful textbooks for an intelligent divine being, always interested in learning more.  The books here relate directly to a Christian God's life.  We have "How To Answer Boring Prayers" - this must be so hard for God when he has to be loving and fair to everyone and their wishes, and he gets someone who is really boring and asking for tedious things over and over again.  Perhaps the next book, "The Confident Ruler of Time and Space" would help.  He will need confidence, it is a huge job and pretty much ongoing for all eternity. And beyond, if there is no time.  "Interviewing New Archangels" is probably a lovely job.  In the Christian heaven, there are many different types of angels.  The really important, big wig chief angels are called Arch Angels.  This book must be for when one or other goes on holiday, or more are needed.  The next book is more linked to the Old Testament.  "Ideas for Plague and Pestilence for the Busy Deity" is a serious book.  The Old Testament God is a passionate God, and does not balk at teaching whole nations and peoples lessons about themselves and their behaviour by sending plagues.  One of the plagues, sent by God to the Egyptians when the Pharaoh refuses to let Moses lead the Hebrew slaves to freedom, was of frogs.  Another was of locusts.  It worked, and the slaves left with Moses.  

"Infallibility for the Cautious" is probably a self help book.  To be infallible means that one is never wrong.  Absolute trustworthiness, immune from error and fallacy.  God is infallible, and for many centuries the leader of the Catholic Church on earth, the Pope, was considered infallible.  It needs a great deal of confidence, and this book for the cautious God is meant to help him to be brilliantly infallible.  "Baddies, How to Spot One" is a reference book for the interesting work of spotting good and evil.  God has to be on the alert, Baddies can be very clever and convincing, he has to know how to stay one step ahead.  

The final book, "3 Into 1 Does Go" reminds God of a central article of faith for Christians.  It is an article of faith, because it cannot be explained logically but it is of huge importance. There is only one God, and there is his son Jesus, and what is called the Holy Spirit. It is considered that all three are both three and also all one.  All one in God.  It is important that God has a book on this because maybe, Jesus and other heavenly bodies will need reminding that it is all perfectly doable. 

And finally, we have God's weekly attendance in this God's Schoolroom.  Instead of simply being present, he is omnipresent.  He is present in all places, at all times, all the time. And a small doodle on the blackboard above is the equation discovered by one of the world's most famous physicists Albert Einstein.  It is e=mc2 and basically means that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing.  So here, God says he is the equation.  He is the mc2 part, as he is all energy and mass and he thought this was a fun thing to think about. So he doodled it on the school blackboard.

I hope you enjoyed this painting.  It is meant to be fun and to cheer us up.  I loved painting this, and I painted it at the request of my father who was a very academic, eccentric and creative man.  He asked me to do the whole series, coming up with a different room in God's house for each painting.  The next one I will write about will be God's kitchen.  Of course, there will be apples from the garden of Eden there, but you will have guessed that as God has one here, on his desk, for his breaktime. 

God bless, see you again in two weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment