I was lying on a beach, looking out at a boat,
stationary at the tip of an arm of land, jutting out from the mouth of this cove.
I stared at it for a while, willing it to move,
to sail away so that I may see it in motion,
taking to the waves, as was its design to do.
But it remained, unaffected by my wishes.
And though I have heard we should not ask of the divine to prove itself,
like some genie to appear upon rubbing a lamp,
it seemed too opportune a moment – for He perhaps even more than I –
to prove this atheist misguided.
I did not clasp my hands in prayer, nor look to the sky for answers,
I simply asked, and awaited to see if I would receive.
“I’ll believe…if you move that boat.”
The underlying question being “Will you give me faith?”,
whereby I’d take it as confirmation, if the boat did indeed move,
or were it to stay put, I’d find myself godless.
The boat moved.
It didn’t sail majestically, or race from its dock,
but for the first time in all my moments of watching,
it rocked and swayed…presumably upon some passing wave.
“Coincidence.” I murmured.
But I cannot claim that I thought no more of it,
and this bit of writing is testament to said denial.
Perhaps it was coincidence.
And I remember asking of God to move it again, just so that I may be sure.
It did not move a second time.
But perhaps I’d had my quota? I’d asked, received, but then questioned,
and sought out affirmation of my confirmation.
If I were He, I’d not have moved the boat again either.
Where would it end?
When would this demanding reassurance find itself content?
When it moved again? When it sailed West?
When it rose from the very water it rocked upon?
To grant every trial and proving question would be to grant an infinite medium,
becoming of the man a magician of sorts,
whereby he would then no doubt conclude he was, in himself, a God.
Why did I deny the first proof, and cast it off as coincidence?
Because it was not complex enough a request?
Should I have asked for something more elaborate, before wasting it on trivials?
I believe at the time I was aiming small,
giving my God-in-question every opportunity to present himself discreetly.
But just now, it occurred to me how infinitely complex a coincidence
that I came to be lying on that beach at all,
looking out at a boat,
next to land,
both earth and sea teeming with life,
for me to cut right through this wonderful amalgamation of coincidences,
and ask the boat to move.
It did move.
And the mind boggles.