Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Heaven, God went missing for six days.
Eventually, the Archangel Gabriel found him on the seventh day, resting.
He inquired of God, “where have you been?”
God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds. “Look what I have made Gabriel”, said God.
Archangel Gabriel looked puzzled. “What is it?” he asked.
“It’s a planet”, replied God, “and I’ve put life on it. It’s going to be a place of great balance.”
“Balance?” replied Gabriel, still confused. God explained, pointing to different parts of the Earth. “For example, North America will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, whilst South America will be poor; the Middle East over there will be a hotspot and Russia will be a cold spot. There I’ve placed a continent of white people and over here is a continent of black people.”
God continued, pointing out different countries. This one will be dry and arid whilst this one will be cold and covered in ice.
The Archangel, impressed by God’s work, then pointed to a small but significant landmass and said, “what’s this one?”
“Ah”, said God, “that’s Yorkshire, the most glorious place in my creation. There are beautiful lakes, fast flowing great rivers that go from wonderful dales right down to the sea by golden beaches, silver streams that tumble down from magnificent blindingly white limestone, tall forests, heather-strewn moors, fertile meadows with iron and coal beneath. The people who will live in this God’s own country are going to be modest, intelligent and humorous and they will be found travelling the world, for they are to be extremely sociable, hard working and high achieving. In fact, they will be known throughout the world as diplomats and bringers of peace and harmony.”
Gabriel gasped in wonder and admiration at his Lord’s awesome creation but then proclaimed, “What about balance Lord? You said there would always be BALANCE!”
God replied wisely, “wait till you see who I’m putting next door to them in Lancashire!”
John R. Armitage
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