The Most Innocent Way to Hell

My dear Globdrop,

You lament how little progress you have to report over these recent weeks. Your man has not tumbled downhill as quickly as you had hoped. The fly has avoided old webs, and this discourages you. You swear, however, that the numbers sitting on my desk tell but half-truths: a full calendar, not a full heart, gives the vermin the appearance of moral progress. Meanwhile, you await idle moments to “get back to it.”

Get back to what? The trapping of your man down below — or something else? Nephew, I can hear your yawn from headquarters. You’ve bored of “gentle slopes, soft underfoot” in favor of these “mighty tumblings” you speak of. Our traditional ways do not suit you properly. Hubris, nephew, makes for hungry demons. The soft crunch of the forbidden fruit sufficed for our Master, but you want more explosion, do you?

Make no mistake: we love adulterers, thieves, and murderers. But these are delicacies, not the main course. Have you forgotten that most who fall to our Father’s house never expected to arrive? They assumed themselves good enough, if not to merit heaven, doubtless to avoid hell. Most meant — always sooner than later — to ponder life’s biggest questions, to focus more on the Enemy, or make it (back) to church. But death startled them. Although they never got around to giving a damn, they nonetheless received one.

Most Innocent Way to Hell

Globdrop, the main course consists of the dreadfully preoccupied persons who otherwise are taken up at present (not accidentally mind you) with more urgent matters. Your man does not need to serve jail time nor burn down the town. He must simply, innocently, carry on believing that eternity is the business of tomorrow. Spiritual procrastination, although not as petting to the ego, has been our stickiest web for the past two centuries. The most common path to hell unsettles least.

Gently along, then, gently along. Do not fixate on luring him back to last year’s vomit. Drown him in new pools. Further down and further out, step by step, as the waters rise.

Fill the Room with Mice

How, you may wonder, can we get him to forget his God and his own soul for an entire lifetime? Well, as one of their soldiers asked, how can you hide a rhinoceros standing in the middle of a room? Fill the room with millions of mice.

Diversion, nephew, endless diversions. Release the mice: consuming careers, YouTube videos, birthday parties, dirty dishes, whining children, dream vacations, housework, clicking, typing, scrolling — always something to distract him from the Enemy. We must create that overstimulated, over-caffeinated soul which cannot endure inactivity. A soul that finds no repose with a book, a steady gaze out the window, or a quiet evening left alone.

Such jittery spirits cannot attend to prayer, or sit calmly with the Enemy’s wretched word. Do your job effectively, and over time you can manipulate him to welcome such diversions as a relief from the solitary confinement of the dreadful religious life. He may come to hope to see that the shades need dusting, the dishes need doing, and the dog needs a walk. Anything but stillness — anything but silence. Always be ready to hand him Martha’s busy broom.

Turn All Resolves to Tomorrow

Now an excerpt from my forthcoming book that, though dealing with sexual sin, applies in principle to your current situation:

Rule #164: The Doctrine of Tomorrow’s Holiness

Let the vermin admire holiness — so long as it’s only tomorrow’s holiness. Never fear “pure resolves” as long as they fire at anything but the present. Suffer them to value the thought of chastity while being currently unchaste. Let them highly esteem abstinence, practice indulgence, and think themselves the better for highly esteeming abstinence. (Don’t let them see the contradiction.) Allow them to sweetly imagine that they inhabit tomorrow’s holiness merely because they value it today.

To your situation, then: let him sweetly imagine that his vague plans to take up faith tomorrow excuses his negligence today. As the Enemy bids him, “Follow me,” comfort him in reply of, “Yes Lord!” even though he follows it with “But first let me . . .” And while they bury their dead or buy fields or examine their property — delicious alibis for crimes of which we soon will accuse them — teach them that wanting to follow, seek, and obey someday is all but indistinguishable from actually doing so. Comfort him in his good intentions to follow the Savior tomorrow, next week, or “when life settles down.” We know what the road to hell is paved with.

Keep Him ‘Nice’

This is where your desire to kill by gunshot backfires. Great sins can awaken thought and jolt a slumbering conscience. Instead, preach our favorite beatitude in his busy season: “Blessed are the nice, for theirs is the kingdom.” Which kingdom? Precisely.

Congratulate him that he does not stew in drunkenness, teach our doctrines, or abuse his closest relations. He is nice. “Nice,” Globdrop, stands in sharp contrast from those curses such as “righteous,” “holy,” or “pure.” Indeed, it is our sugar-free substitute. It tastes like holiness, promises to acquit like righteousness, and alleviates the conscience like purity — all while fattening for the day of slaughter.

Do you see our brilliance, nephew? You need not hassle yourself with these mighty falls. Quietly make him neglectful, busy, temperate. Assure him that the Enemy is obliged to save him as long as he isn’t “tumbling about.” We know better. If we present them to the Enemy lukewarm, he promises to spit them out — and we aren’t nearly so picky.

Gently Down the Stream

Remember, the Enemy himself set the excessive standard: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Anything less than “supreme love” and allegiance will not suffice. If friends to the world, then enemies to him. He has built high walls and cut but a narrow path. Our way is much broader.

This day his wretched Maker calls to your vermin, entreating him to come. He promises if he will but seek — and give himself to seeking — he undoubtedly will find. More tasks. More caffeine. More television. Send forth the mice.

You may get more satisfaction from shooting your prey and hearing him squeal, but our Master assigns us to quietly drown souls under calm streams. Never tire of this. Send him down the halls of Titanic to clean rooms and fix faucets. Don’t let him notice the subtle decline nor mind the frantic pleadings of others onboard. He will be fine. Further down, further out. What’s the worst that can happen?

Your expectant uncle,

Wormwood