“I will decide who’s worthy.”
Welcome to God: An Autobiography, The Podcast. A dramatic adaptation and continuing discussion of the book God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher by Jerry L. Martin.
He was a lifelong agnostic, but one day he had an occasion to pray. To his vast surprise, God answered- in words. Being a philosopher, he had a lot of questions, and God had a lot to tell him.
Read God: An Autobiography, As Told To A Philosopher.
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GOD: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY - THE PODCAST
JLM - Narrator (Jerry L. Martin) - voiced by Scott Langdon
Jerry - Jerry Martin - voiced by Scott Langdon
GOD - The Voice of God - voiced by Jerry L. Martin, who heard the voice
EPISODE NINE: Where God asks me to tell God's story.
Memorial Bridge was lit by the sun, white and bright. The Lincoln Memorial rose up in front of me, also white, but grave and rich in national meaning. For me, crossing the bridge was a daily call to purpose. But the voice broke today's silent entry by announcing, out of the blue...
Your work here is done.
My work here is done? I thought I was right in the middle of it.
After teaching philosophy for fifteen years at Boulder, I had come to Washington on a Congressional Fellowship and stayed, working first on a Congressional staff, later at the National Endowment for the Humanities, finally at the nonprofit organization where Abigail had first reached me.
When these prayers began, friends and associates were moving into the highest levels of government, and I was being asked to consider positions, just below Cabinet level, that would have crowned a career like mine. But now, suddenly, I was being told, "Your work here is done." Done.
About that time, I felt guided to look at Matthew 16:13-14, where Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do people say that the son of man is?" "And they answered, 'Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'"
Then I was directed to the very last verse of the very last book of the Old Testament. Malachi 4:5 promises that Elijah, the prophet who was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, will return with God's message. "Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah…"
Abigail's train was late. I had been waiting at Union Station for over an hour and stood to stretch my legs. Some now-forgotten images passed before my eyes, and then…
I want you to be my new Elijah.
Your new Elijah? Lord, I am not worthy.
I will decide who is worthy.
I don't have enough faith.
You have more faith than you know.
Who is Elijah?
He is the prophet.
What is he to me?
He is you.
No, Lord. This is just crazy.
He is you.
There's a story Abraham Lincoln told about the man who was tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. "If it weren't for the honor of the thing," the man said, "I would rather have walked."
I'd seen the war movies: "You will have the honor of leading the assault."
Some honors aren't worth it.
I did feel the honor. God was about to put his seal on his role for me, a role more suitable for a real Elijah. I felt a swell of pride, as I was being told this, and immediately the line went dead.
Ego had broken the connection.
Abigail's train still had not arrived. I paced back and forth, no longer seeing the other people in the station. What to think? What to feel?
Finally, I forced a deep breath and, with irritation mitigated by resignation, asked,
Lord, what exactly do you want of me?
I want you to describe the inner life of God, what it is like to be God.
The inner life of God? What it is like to be God? Why is that important for us to know?
Humankind sees God only from the outside, and that leads to distortions in its view of God, as it would of anyone--too distant, awesome, oppressive, Other. Even mystics are very one-sided. They experience oneness, but that is not the same as empathizing with my subjective experiences.
We think of God as being so infinite and ethereal that "subjective experience" doesn't even make sense.
Exactly--that's one of the distortions. Although I am much more than a person, I am a person, a soul, just like you. You--people--cannot relate properly, constructively, to me unless you understand that. Take love, for example. My love comes across as impersonal, generic, oceanic wallowing, but, in fact, it is quite specific, concrete, with feeling, with response to the particulars of your being, of your life.
I want you to tell my story.
Hasn't your story already been told in the Bible?
Yes, but it is time for it to be told anew, and not in the same way. We are entering an unusual time in the history of the world. The old religions are coming apart. Yet there is a renewal of religious spirit.
Many of the great religions rested on a relatively clear reception of messages from me. The new spirituality does not. It is aimless, made-up, impressionistic, psychologized, sometimes flaky and even dangerous and demonic. Not all *spiritual* forces are from God. Some are evil or distorted. A purity of message must be regained.
But there is gain here as well. The old religions were limited. They fit the understanding of people at the time. The messages were sometimes garbled or misunderstood or distorted over time. Also, I have evolved since then. There is new information to impart.
There it is again: God evolves.
There is a long history, that has not been chronicled, of my development. I would like you to tell that story. My message is evolving over time. You will carry it forward. Do not credit this to your ego--it will be my voice. Focus on the task. The world's religions have spent themselves. They need renewal.
Believe the inspirations I send you. Do not worry about any other standards than communicating correctly what I reveal to you. It may seem crazy to others; revelation always does. This is the courage of the messenger.
I felt like Dorothy swept up in a whirlwind. And poor Abigail. Would she be swept up to?
Her train had finally arrived. Over dinner, I broke it to her. She just listened, unfazed.