That's the beginning of the punchline of one of my favorite jokes of all time. It goes like this:
A man lives in a house not far from the river. A tremendous storm moves into the area and the river starts to rise until his front yard is flooded. As the man is standing on his front porch, a neighbor comes by in a rowboat and says "hop in." But the man says "That's not necessary. My faith in the Lord will save me."
The rain continues and the river rises even higher until it floods the first floor of the house. Now the man is leaning out a second floor window. The County Sheriff comes by in a small motorboat and says "Get in, I'll give you a ride to safety." But the man says "No, no thanks. My faith in the Lord will save me."
The rain keeps coming down, and now the man is up on his roof, clinging to the chimney. A rescue helicopter comes along, and hovers over the house. They call out to him with a bullhorn "We'll drop a line and lift you up." And the man waves his arm and shouts "No need! My faith in the Lord will save me!"
Well, the rain keeps falling, the river keeps rising, and the man drowns.
If you haven't heard the punchline, keep reading...
The man finds himself in Heaven, standing in front of the Pearly Gates. When it's his turn to see St. Peter, he says "I don't understand. I was certain the my faith in the Lord would save me."
St. Peter looks down at his notes and says "What can I tell you? It says here we sent two boats and a helicopter."
Now, I'm not even a remotely religious person, but that joke cracks me up. It's all about how people can completely miss the significance of something. The other side of that is finding significance that isn't there (think about people who see the image of Jesus in a grilled-cheese sandwich).
Remember how four years ago, the Democrats announced that Senator Obama would give his acceptance speech outdoors at a stadium in Denver? Wingnuts prayed and prayed for rain, and in return they got - nothing. Had it rained, they would no doubt have claimed that it was God's will, and a sign that God did not support Obama. But if rain would have been a sign from God, then good weather must also have been a sign from God? Um, not so much. Funny thing, that whole "God's will" business.
So now the Republicans are gearing up for their big convention in Tampa, Florida starting on Monday. And there just happens to be a tropical storm heading westward, with predictive models that show it moving right up into, you guessed it, Florida. Now, please don't think for a second that I am wishing/hoping/praying for it to build into a hurricane and run right through Tampa, because that is not the case.
But in the event that it does, you have to wonder what all those "God's will" believers are going think about it. Do you suppose any of them would see it as a sign that maybe, just maybe, God isn't all that fond of Romney, Ryan, and the Republicans? I sincerely doubt it. But I would also bet that if the storm doesn't build into a hurricane and/or doesn't hit Tampa, they will see that as a sign that God had protected them from disaster. Like I said, the whole "God's will" thing is a funny thing, especially when you get to apply it retroactively to whatever you want.
Hope you enjoyed the joke.