I was Stumbling around the internet, as is my want, when I really should have been doing other things, and I came accross a wonderful article about someone who’s trying to create a minor god called Olly. It was the kind of article with such a random opening that I found myself reading it. There was nothing really new in the article, appart from the idea of the minor god Olly, but there were a few things that I thought worthy of repeating.
We’ve all heard of the myths about Parking. My fellow students here at college will often pray to the Blessed Virgin, or Christ himself for a parking space. I’ve heard many people who have similar beliefs to various gods. This article, however, talks about the modern creation of the Goddess Rita, to fulfill the need of a society continually searching to deal with a brain hard-wired to deal with belief.
The Lovely Goddess Rita, Meta Maid comes from the Song by the Beatles. The worship is not just of offering a prayer when in search of a parking place, you must also put coins into expired parking meters, saying “Praise Rita” as they turn the handle on the meter. Her worship song is of course, the song by the Beatles, all of this seems to enable the people who pray to Rita to gain a parking space.
I found the idea fascinating. We often forget that Gods are meant to help us out with the day-to-day things. Christians would pray about all sorts of things, and liberal uses of “arrow” prayers to help people get through the day. The thing is, that people seem to have an innate sense of fair-play. It is not fair for someoen to continually get a parking space that might deny someone else, without that person doing something in return for the God. In the case of Rita, filling up parking meters and such-like. Christ requires us to pass on our good fortune to others, however we find them. It is this “fair-play” that allows us feel that it is okay to keep asking these strang, small things.
You will find a number of webpages on the net that caution against making selfish prayer. I think that tends to forget the fact that God can say “No”. Often when He does, He has a reason, one that we might not be able to see. I guess, perhaps, that Rita has the ability to say no, but the article doesn’t go into any depth on the complications of her Theology. Perhaps that’s beacuse she doesn’t need one. It is very difficult being a Christian, spending most of your time defending your religion, to remember that there are times when it requires nothing more than a few words and actions of thanks to gain the Grace of God.
So what of Olly? Well, Olly is not yet a fully-formed god. The writer of the article is looking for a god that will ease the mind of those troubles that can’t be helped. The ones that keep you awake at night. You know you’ve done everything you can to prepare, and all there is to do now is sleep, but your worried mind won’t let you. This is where Olly comes in. Olly is vaugly designed to be someone who can take those cares away from you. Olly being short for “Olly Olly Oxenfree”, the call home in hide and seek. The writer is trying to find out what Olly requires, how he should be contacted, and how prayers and worship should be carried out.
Of course, as Christians, we have Christ. He’s a multi-function God. The Swiss-Army Knife of Deieties. He’s there for everything. This, again, causes a problem. For our “fair-play” minds, we feel that we must some-how give something back. Christ does have a list of things that we should do, mostly centering around being good to one another, and worshiping God, but for many people in today’s world, the rituals are so far removed from their life that they no-longer makes sense. In the artlce, the writer talks about how he invented a “spirit of inquiriy” to help him through the day at Job that wasn’t as good as it could have been. This is a spirit that’s in amoungst people, directly affecting his life. The Christian Church used to point to Angles, but it appears that even that has been lost, and forgotten. Angelology has now become the recourse of the “self-help” section of book stores, with a list of magic-spells used to conjour and control your angel. I’m not sure that pushing a devine being around like that is a good idea… why don’t we just go back to asking them? Not worshiping them, but just asking for their help. There is a distinct difference.
As the writer of the article says, there is only one way to know what Olly wants from him. To pray the most simple prayer. The first prayer that anyone seeking any God should pray.
So my first prayer is the one I would offer to any new divinity: Reveal yourself to me. Teach me to pray.
Perhaps we should all give that a go.