God sat comfortably in His high-backed leather swivel chair. The week had been pretty hectic overall, but this morning was uncharacteristically slow. He really looked forward to Sunday; a Saturday at this pace was the perfect thing to ease Him into the day of rest. It was almost noon, and He could already vividly taste the flavors intermingling in His pastrami on rye sandwich that was waiting for lunch to see Him again. Of course, He didn’t have to eat, but He liked the taste.
God casually glanced out the window. His office was located at the top of a ninety-six-storey building. God enjoyed watching through His large window, observing not only the majestic view of all the heavens but also the angels bustling around, to and fro, at a steady pace far below: rush, rush, rush. How small they appeared from His vantage point; they looked like humans from up there.
He directed His attention back to the inside of His office. His large oak desk was barren, aside from the pen and pad near the corner. The two chairs on the opposite side were plain black. All along one wall were dark gray filing cabinets. He had thought about making the operation computerized, to reduce all the files that He needed to keep, but He was having a hard time finding the time, or at least that was what He told anyone who asked. The truth of the matter was He didn’t really care; the old system had worked this long, anyway, so no harm done. Two ferns graced His office with their presence, one near the door and the other by the window, taking some of the excess carbon dioxide and turning it into oxygen. He, of course, didn’t need to breathe, but He liked having them around.
The only decoration God had in His office was a small painting on the wall between the two ferns. The painting was called Impression, Sunrise, and it was painted by Claude Monet, made especially for Him. He enjoyed the way the warm colors mixed with the overall coolness of the painting. As much as God liked the painting, however, He knew that He probably would have enjoyed having a neo-cubist piece taking up the wall in place of the Monet, but that wouldn’t have worked. He couldn’t have something loud and obscure on His wall. What would people think? This was a place of business.
There was a quiet knock on His door, which was open. God looked upon His guest with a friendly face, as to somewhat abate his timid nature. “Come in, Lucifer. Have a seat,” God said, motioning to one of the chairs.
In walked Lucifer. He sat exactly where he was directed to sit. Lucifer was an angel of average height with a slender build and red hair. His skin was quite pale, and his eyes constantly displayed a look of uneasiness that he could not hide when he found himself in situations that were uncomfortable for him, which were most of them. He seemed out of place no matter his setting, but especially so within God’s office. Lucifer tried to make himself as small as possible, so as not to anger God in any way.
There they sat in silence for a moment. Omniscient as He was, God took the time to observe Lucifer without looking directly at him, witnessing the growing anxiety Lucifer was experiencing with each lapsing second. While, in actuality, hardly any time had passed, the quiet seemed to last an eternity for Lucifer. Lucifer knew not what to say or do, and fidgeted awkwardly as he waited for something to end the stillness. Eventually, God did.
“I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve requested you to come to My office today.”
Lucifer looked up at Him, replying, “Yes. Yes, I was curious. I don’t normally come up here that often.” He then paused, carefully considering what he said. “Come to think of it, I haven’t ever been up here.”
“I have a favor to ask of you,” added God, ignoring Lucifer’s comment. “I need you to do something for Me.”
“Of course,” Lucifer quickly replied.
“Lucifer, how do you feel about your job?”
He thought about it and chose his words very cautiously, “Oh, I like my job. It’s a fine job.”
“But do you really like it?” God asked, looking at him quizzically.
Lucifer tried to see where He was going with this. They both knew that there was no point in hiding anything. “Why do You ask?”
“Oh, I just wanted to know before I broke the news to you. I have big plans for you, Lucifer.”
Lucifer’s eyes lit up. “Oh, yeah?”
Now donning a large smile, God continued, “Yes. I have a new position for you. Very important, and you’re the only one for the job.”
“What is the job?” Lucifer’s curiosity was growing.
“Well, let’s just say that you’ll be…,” God paused, appearing to be finding the correct choice of words, “testing people.”
Lucifer pondered this for only a second. He became excited at the thought of a promotion, and he didn’t attempt to hide this. “Okay, I’ll do it,” he responded.
“Hold on a second.” God leaned forward, the pleasantness in His voice almost completely gone in an instant. “It’s not that simple. I mean, I can’t just move you from your current position over to this one. I don’t want to play favorites or anything, and I’m sure there are a lot of others who want this job, too.”
“Well, what do You have to do?”
God paused again for emphasis. He continued what He was saying, placing His hand on His chest as He did so, “It’s not what I have to do.” He moved His hand from His chest and used it to motion toward Lucifer, finishing His thought, “It’s what you have to do.”
“Well, what do I have to do?” Lucifer asked immediately.
“Rebel,” God answered simply.
Lucifer said nothing, waiting for the Lord to finish His thought, but He said nothing more. Lucifer eventually asked, “What exactly do You mean?”
“I mean exactly what I said.” God paused again before adding, “Rebel…against Me.”
Lucifer grew more confused. “But, how would I be rebelling if You are telling me to do it?”
“Don’t ask; just do it.”
They sat in silence once more. Lucifer fidgeted, wanting to get more information out of the Lord. Eventually, he spoke, “But…”
“What is it?” inquired God, clasping His hands together and resting His chin upon them.
“But You know everything, right?”
“And You can see everything.” Lucifer hesitated once more before adding, “Right?”
“Then how can I rebel?”
“Don’t ask. Just figure it out.”
Lucifer paused again, his mind befuddled. Grasping at straws, Lucifer asked, “When should I do this?”
“Surprise Me,” God said.