What God wants he keeps...

This elegant sign was taped to a display case in one of the many "antique" stores in the area. It is only as I write this that I realize I missed the opportunity to steal the sign. I wasn't thinking clearly because I was disappointed that none of the other stuff was worth stealing, but I played out a scenario in my head wherein I picked up something from the booth and walked out of the market with it. I figured that if anyone stopped me I'd just let them know that God saw me take it and didn't say anything, so he probably was cool with it.
I've never wanted to steal so desperately; to take this person's stuff just to prove I wasn't afraid of her invisible watchdog.
When I was a teenager, fear of divine retribution ruined the occasional bout of masturbation, as did the notion that my ancestors might be watching me in horror and disappointment. But beyond that single (although repeated) transgression, I never worried that I was violating one of God's rules. As a grownup, I'm thankful and lucky that the injunction against lust was one I had the courage to override. People who suppress natural urges at God's command tend just to morph those urges into unnatural ones.
What is wonderful and horrible about this sign, and the person who wrote it, is the implication that they believe it. It is a little terrifying to imagine a person who only is held back from stealing or lying or murdering because they believe God has their eye on them. It is a sickness we don't really take seriously enough.


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