When the Gods Aren’t Generous

A recurring theme in The Last Kingdom is that Uhtred, Danish orphan raised as a Saxon, refuses to accept his English friends’ insistence on there being only one, namely the Christian, god. Whenever he says “gods,” plural, all hell breaks loose. It’s a tempting fantasy, isn’t it?

Be it an array of Norse gods, the Graeco-Roman god family around Zeus/Jupiter, or a variety of Hindu deities, imagining a higher power as more than one entity somehow makes it seem more human. If God really was all-powerful, then why all this suffering? Plus, seems like a lot of work for one…guy? Girl? Being?

If the gods are a family, on the other hand, well, that would explain a lot of things. Families bicker all the time, and different folks have different agendas. One day, Apollo might overdo his sun-shining business, and suddenly, the crops are up in flames. Naturally, Demeter will be angry.

Of course, you can have just as much faith that your trials will one day make sense if you believe they all come from the same architect, but it feels a little easier, and perhaps even a little more comforting, to blame it on the gods being caught up in their own, equally muddled affairs.

So, if today is an extra hard writing day, the bus drives off in front of your face, or the sun just won’t shine, think of it like this: The universe isn’t trying to slight you. It just happens to be busy taking care of something, or someone, else. When the path is muddy, it may not yet be your turn to take that step — and when the gods aren’t generous, perhaps they are just fighting.