Author : John Arthur Beaman

Why should we expect God to keep track of everyone in the world? The galaxies, you know, take a trained eye and eons of proper management to turn a profit. It’s quite an operation. I don’t blame God for losing me.

It’s funny when you think about it. The universe runs in circles. Maybe it’s just easier that way. I’ve yet to build a one; I wouldn’t begin to criticize. So, the moon goes around the earth. The earth goes around the sun. The sun, too, has its little circles. The solar system moves around the galaxy, and so on. Our lives? They’re like microscopic versions of the universe. We go round and round, until we don’t.

To crawl inside the mind of an infinite being seems easy enough. There’s plenty of space. But it’s like a game of hide and seek in there; the only problem is no one’s seeking. We hide in back of the curtains or under the bed. We poke our heads out occasionally, wondering when we’ll be tagged. Years go by; no one finds us. Have we hidden ourselves that well? It was only curtains!

It’s hard to say how important the Milky Way is on the universal scale. It harbors life, we know that. In certain scientific circles, they call the realm in which we survive “the habitable zone.” I like the word zone. It has a z in it, and that’s good. More importantly, it starts with z. Plus, it has two vowels and two consonants. That’s perfect symmetry if I ever saw it. Zone. We live in a zone.

Neighborhoods have been zoned for housing. Parking lots have been zoned for parking. We have commercial, residential, agriculture, time, weather, ocean and even empty zones. We have zones within zones. I suppose we do this to keep our cities running smoothly. It’s not hard to see why God would have a habitable zone. It just keeps the integrity of the thing.

So, our spot in the galaxy has been zoned for life. I’m sure when scouring over the blueprints God took great pains deciding the most lucrative locations. We have our place, and the other three life bearing planets in the galaxy have their zones as well. How I came to the conclusion that there are four life supporting planets in the Milky Way is a simple matter of deduction: it’s less than five and more than three. Five and three are, of course, absurdities.

How does our habitable zone stack up? There are billions and billions of galaxies, give or take. Each of them has four life supporting planets. When all is told, God’s got his hands full. It’s quite an operation.

Then there’s a man named John. He’s just one living soul among the trillions and trillions and dare I say trillions more. He’s managed to crawl inside the mind of an infinite being and get lost. He lives in one galaxy among billions in a very small site zoned for life. In a solar system too large for his little mind to grasp, he exists. Magnifying further, we see that he lives on a tiny speck of light that’s almost completely overshadowed by its own sun, if overshadowed is even the correct word. Through the clouds of a dense atmosphere we go. Passing over billions of lives, we find his country. Over multi-millions more, we find his state. Millions go by again just locating his city, but hundreds of thousands remain before we find him. I can see why God gave up. Who’s got the time?


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