A friend (call him "Fr. D.") sent me this, from Forbes.com. It's an excerpt of a forthcoming book on Best-Case Scenarios by John Tierney, and the article includes good advice on secular life as well:
How to Receive
A Divine Visitation
1) Do not look directly into your Visitor's eyes. Some deities consider this "not done," and a few respond quite badly.
2) Ascertain that it really is God. Discreetly ask questions that only a deity could answer, but do not be rudely confrontational (e.g., "Okay, Mr. Omniscient, tell me what number I'm thinking of").
Be leery of indirect manifestations. Many bleeding statues and crying Madonnas have been traced to leaky roofs. Before concluding that the sound emanating from the basement is the "Voice in the Whirlwind," check your furnace.
3) Wait patiently for the deity to reveal the purpose of the visit. Do not ask for money, personal favors or tricks--mowing your lawn with a sweep of the hand, levitating the toaster oven and so on. This is God, not a Bewitched rerun.
4) Be accommodating but not slavish. Politely but firmly decline if asked to sacrifice your oldest son. If you're a woman and the deity appears in the form of a swan, close the door and dial 911.
5) Take notes! You will be writing a book. And you don't want it to say, "Then God promised to send a rain of fire and frogs and something else--hubcaps, maybe--over a great sinful city. Either L.A. or Bombay. Or Adelaide. I forget which, but He was really, really mad."
6) Ask for a memento. Ask God if He or She would mind leaving a little "souvenir" of the occasion, like a healing spring or roses that bloom in winter.
After the Visitation, decide if you want to start a religion, and make a list of the pros (e.g., large adoring crowds) and cons (e.g., large angry crowds).
Don't announce the news yourself. The Visitation will be more credible if others reveal it first, like Mrs. McCarthy down the street, whose dog drank out of your birdbath and spoke in tongues.
With the advance from your publisher, acquire the surrounding land for future parking and concessions.
If you like this, go to Forbes and read the rest, including "How to Proceed When You Discover Which Car's Alarm Keeps Going Off in the Middle of the Night" and "How to Cope with a Broken ATM That Will Not Stop Dispensing Cash". Please note: I do not know Mr. Tierney, in fact had never heard of him, and receive no kickbacks for quoting him.Posted by Dr. Weevil at September 05, 2002 07:15 PM