All due apologies to Bob Dylan for bastardizing his quote in the title above, but most of us know that praying for rain is like playing Farmville; sure it’s fun for a while and takes your mind off things, but ultimately, it’s pointless.
People have been predicting the weather as long as they have been praying, or maybe a little bit longer, because if the wind turns and rain lashes down when you’re praying and destroys your crops, you stay hungry. It seems that throughout history, manna has only intervened on very select occasions, such as Woodstock.
Armed with this knowledge of the select few, Gozo Bishop Mario Galea released an impassioned letter to the parishes in which he instructed the faithful to pray for rain. He continued by saying that he was aware of the hardships farmers were going through because of this lack of rain.
Of course, we all know exactly what the power of prayer is capable of doing, and for that reason, I am going to call for moderation in prayer. If anything, I find the Bishop’s pleas to be quite rash and grossly irresponsible, since if all the faithful of Malta were to rise up in arms, so to speak, the good old flooding would be among us, and then we’d have to bury the dead among us in plastic bags.
In fact, I wonder if I could claim the Bishop’s words on my insurance form when my trusty little car is carried away by “the water based punishment of the Lord”, to paraphrase Bill Bailey. However, I do find that insurance companies are no pleasure to deal with, so instead, I will propose a Precipitation Prayer Plan.
So the way I see it is like this: given the inequality in population density, and therefore a heavy prayer index per squared kilometre, it would be wise if the heavily populated areas of Malta kept to a strict prayer quota.
That way, we would avoid Msida, Gżira and everywhere else from flooding. Actually, it would be best if no prayer at all were observed in the towns. The best way to achieve this, ahem, Precipitation Generation, would be for the Bishop and his cronies to take a hike to the fields and pray there. Perhaps ‘washing of the sins’ will take on a more literal meaning.