Bob and Rita… April 7, 2013


I invited Bob and Rita to lunch. They did not know each other and probably would never have met without my invitation. For you see, Rita was an atheist and Bob was a believer.

Matter of fact, we had hardly gotten through ordering our Coca-colas and picking up the menus before Bob was trying to talk about God and Rita was prepared to do battle over His nonexistence.

Both of them became perturbed with me because I had set up this bizarre luncheon. They asked me why I put together such an event when I knew that Bob was a believer and Rita wasn’t. I explained to them that I felt they had more in common than they thought. That perplexed them.

I shared that even though Bob was a believer and very religious, and Rita was an atheist and very anti-religion, they both seemed to have achieved the same level of misery–and since I had heard somewhere along the line that misery loves company, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to put together these two friends over a grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup.

They didn’t think I was funny. Both of them denied that they were miserable, so I asked them why they impersonated the condition. Bob explained that the world was a sad place, filled with lost people and that if Jesus didn’t return to earth soon, we were all going to destroy one another and the devil was going to claim millions of souls.

Rita cited that the world was a dangerous place because of religious people who were out to espouse their doctrines, using violence if necessary, and that we all would be better off if there was no God and we just got along the best we could with who we were.

I listened to them for about half an hour, and finally picked up the check and headed to the counter to pay the bill, thanking them for an insightful experience. They disagreed.

I walked out that day knowing this:

I want to have enough Rita in me that I don’t fall victim to religious fanatics who want to preach a God who really hates people so that they can act out their vengeance through His book.

And I want to have enough Bob in me that I know there really is a God–He just isn’t locked up in a sanctuary somewhere.

I smiled and thought to myself, That really is what it means to be a good human being. Just enough Rita in you to refuse to blame God for all the problems, but instead, try to do your part. And just enough Bob that you know you don’t have to do it alone, feeling left out, rejected and wondering if anything at all has meaning.

I’m sure both Bob and Rita would be very disappointed with my conclusion, but unlike Bob and Rita, my conclusion makes me happy.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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