Some time ago, A DIY superstore and garden
centre opened near my church - although, of course, I never went
in. As the congregation at church continued to dwindle, the
numbers visiting the centre increased, until, one Sunday, I
resolved to visit the store to see for myself what attracted the
I remember awkwardly approaching the
entrance and nearly rushing away when the automatic doors slid
open - they never had automatic doors at St Josephs. A
crowd was listening intently to a man standing atop a checkout.
To my surprise, he talked of the founders
and leaders of the great religions. He explained that they had
taught on matters of morals and ethics and of Mans
relationship with God. Do you suppose, he forcefully
continued, that the Ultimate Reality behind the universe
thinks only of these spiritual and ethical matters? Has this
force also not created the fabric of everyday life: the clothes
we wear; the materials from which we construct our homes; the
food which we eat? Yet there is scant mention of cookery,
interior decoration and garden design in the great religious
I tell you, this is because the scope
of Gods plan for you all is too vast to be expounded by
just a few prophets backed-up by a limited and rigid hierarchy of
celestial beings. I come to announce that God has modernised
Heaven to comprise a management team leading specialist
departments. Furthermore, each department has sent a Specialist
Messiah to walk among you.
An old man wearing a dirty pair of
gardening overalls, but with rapture in his face, pushed to the
front of the crowd, raised his arms to the heavens and addressed
the speaker. Can it be true? Are you the long prophesied
Messenger of Garden Design and Maintenance, sent by God?
The speaker smiled with unearthly
tranquillity. He is I.
At first, I could not believe this to be
true. I recalled, however, the wondrous miracles of other
Specialist Messiahs. Had not the Lord of Television come forth
and banned from the airwaves: snooker; cookery programmes;
holiday programmes in which rich celebrities are sent on
expensive holidays and then rub my nose in it; and sports which
overrun and cause the cancellation of films I was looking forward
to seeing? Proof positive that there is a God!
Was not further proof, the arrival of the
Lord of Advertising who dealt agonising death and eternal
damnation to all undertaking telephone cold calling?
Then there was the Lord of Motoring who was
reputed to have turned water into petrol and transformed all
speed cameras to stone.
I listened with adulation as Gods
plan to use more container planting in small gardens unfolded. My
eyes were opened to the sin of deploying garden gnomes.
I realised, as I purchased some holy
decking, materials for a water feature and a patio heater, that
my life had been transformed for ever.