Am I supposed to be the saviour of mankind, or am I deluded?
According to my Messiah’s Handbook, to doubt one’s divinity is a necessary crisis for any would-be Saviour to work His way through.
Well, that doesn’t help then.
OK, let’s see what else it has to say. Hmm, Chapter Three, Messiah Questionnaire.
Do you have a passionate belief in God?
Do you believe you are God?
Well, that’s a tricky one. I mean, we could all be a part of God in an Atman-Brahman or Star Wars “The Force” kind of way. I think I’ll have to tick “Don’t Know” for that one.
Do you have visions?
If yes, have any of your visions come to pass?
Do you hear voices?
Only ones from other people
Do you believe that other people do not exist in their own right and are just extensions of your own projected reality?
Probably not. Well, there’s always been this slight doubt in the back of my head about whether everything is just an illusion and I’m just dreaming, or in one big virtual reality game, but I don’t really take it seriously because there’d be no way to prove it anyway.
Do people worship you?
Should they worship you?
No! Well, it might be fun, but no.
Do other people expect you to perform miracles?
Ha! Don’t they just! Oh, hang on; it says, “Excludes family members, boss or employees.”
Can you perform miracles? Examples include walking on and/or parting water, causing the blind to see, raising the dead etc.
No, no and no
If you answered Yes to all these questions then you should go public now, although chances are you already have your own cult following and Centre of Worship based in Arizona, Texas or India.
If you answered yes to six to nine of these questions then you certainly have the makings, but need to work on your commitment to the cause
Three to five: there’s always an outside chance, but you might want to await further instructions from your Divine Inspiration before proceeding
Two or less: it’s probably just paranoia. Stop worrying about it and take up gardening.
Damn. That doesn’t help either. Where’s the bit that says “Do you have a nagging feeling that you were put on the Earth for something big, but just don’t know what it is yet?”
Oh, wait a minute. That’s on the next page.
If Yes, turn to page 163.
Page 163… here we go.
All is not lost. You could be a foot soldier for the Lord. Talk to your local holy person.
Well bugger that. I’m not going to be somebody’s cannon fodder. It’s Messiah or nothing for me.
Let’s check the contents page again in case I’ve missed something. Oh, there we go, that looks interesting: Appendix C - Misplaced Messiahs page 429…
As with any bureaucracy, files can get misplaced and forms can go missing, and God’s Kingdom is no exception. Sometimes Messiahs-in-potentia remain just that because the necessary vision, voice, inspiration or experience doesn’t occur in the right place at the right time or in the right order. If you feel this applies to you move on to Section D
OK, Section D. Please complete the following:
Which age bracket are you in?
38 to 48 – go to question 7
Has someone you were close to died before his or her time in the past five years?
Yes – go to question 9
Do you feel like life is somehow passing you by?
If Yes: go to question 15
Do you feel you have skills that are not being effectively used?
Absolutely – go to question 22
Have you joined or founded a community project that failed to develop in the way you expected?
Yes, yes I did! – go to question 43
Are you constantly surprised that people don’t seem to recognise how great you really are?
Now you’re really getting somewhere – go to question 61
Do you feel like you’re on a Mission from God, but He forgot to tell you what it was?
Yes, yes and triple yes! That’s it! That describes my feeling perfectly!
Turn to page 612.
You are suffering a mid-life crisis and/or the Dunning-Kruger effect.
What the bloody hell is the Dunning-Kruger effect? Oh, there’s a star next to it… bottom of the page…
Reference: Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments, Justin Kruger and David Dunning, Cornell University, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol 77, no 6, p 1121-1134 (1999)
What? I’m too stupid to realise how stupid I am? Oh for goodness sake, what kind of stupid bloody book is this? And what kind of idiot am I for expecting to find answers in it? I should have been more wary when I saw it in the bargain bin.
Maybe my wife was right after all. It’s probably just a vitamin B12 deficiency. I’ll go and talk to my doctor tomorrow.