Church of Close Enoughism: The Great Acts of Mediocrity (1-3)
Extracts from the Tome of Divine Adequacy
When not working on his day job, playing RPGs, or writing stories, Dr. Laurence J. R. Nix, works to compile and translate ancient texts with intent to reconstruct the fabled Tome of Divine Adequacy. Dr. Nix is both the most learned and the only religious scholar within the Church of Close Enoughism.*
Over the centuries since the era of the Mehssiah, many of those responsible for maintaining the scripture used low-grade parchment that did not stand the test of time. This, in conjunction with a longstanding lack of organisation in the religious libraries, means that much has been lost. It is also theorised that a significant proportion of the scripture was simply never written in the first place. By searching far and wide and uncovering every ancient scroll, carving, and book that can be found with a modest degree of effort, Dr. Nix has semi-accurately reproduced several sections of the Tome. The Seven Great Acts of Mediocrity are central to Close Enoughist scripture. The first three Great Acts are presented below.
*doctorate unrelated to Close Enoughist history
The First Great Act: The Stating of the Rules
A man stepped forth into the tavern’s hall. Within sat many common folk, drinking and engaging in general merriment. At this point the man had yet to realise his destiny. He entered this tavern not as the Mehssiah, but as one of the people. None of his more-or-less average number of friends were yet to finish work in the cornfields. Thus, he instead approached some casual acquaintances with whom he would be glad to drink and play cards, but may not be so inclined to hang out sober without the prospect of a card game to limit the need for conversation. And he said to the acquaintances, “Uh… Hi, mind if I join you for cards? Tom and the boys aren’t done with work yet and you were the only ones here I kinda recognised…”
And the most vocal of the casual acquaintances said, “Sure, what d'ya wanna play?”
And the man failed to hear the question over the noise of the many loud and merry patrons of the tavern, and assumed the acquaintance had just asked some variation on the phrase “how are you?” and He replied, “yeah, I’m good thanks, How’s life?”
And the vocal acquaintance, believing that to be the man’s game suggestion, answered thusly: “Huh, life? What are the rules for Life?”
Taken aback by the sudden perceived philosophical twist, the man awkwardly scrambled to think of some rules for life so as not to look a fool in front of the casual acquaintances.
“Uh… Yeah, rules for life, um, wow, there’s an icebreaker for you… well I suppose one should live life by these ten commandments:
Thou shalt try thy best… or at least sort of close enough to thy best.
Thou shalt not judge those who try their best.
Thou shalt fulfill thy - or is it thine? Thou shalt fulfill thy or thine obligations, or at least be close enough that you don’t get in trouble.
Thou shalt obey the ones of the Christian 10 commandments that are actually good, but not all the ones about like God or whatever is in there, I don’t remember them all, but they seem to have a reasonable stance on murder and the like.
Thou shalt not judge those who put pineapple on pizza. Honestly, it’s actually pretty good. I respect your opinion of not liking it but let those who do like it live in peace. Well, maybe that’s too specific for a life rule, how about “Thou shalt not partake in petty judgement over trivial matters.” Yeah, that can be the rule, not the pineapple thing.
Um… crap, how many is that so far? … uh, Thou shalt treat all peoples equally and fairly and not be some annoying bigot like my uncle Jeremy. Ugh, Jerermy… the worst…”
Thou shalt take pride in the accomplishments of thyself and thy friends.
Thou shalt be a positive figure in your community and uh… generally be… nice? Is that ten? It feels like that’s probably about 10. So how about that card game?
And for the first time since beginning His speech, he made eye contact, and witnessed the tavern-goers wide-eyed wonder at the Divine Adequacy of his rules for life The acquaintances did not see it fit to clarify the misunderstanding of the question, but instead realised that he may not some incredible teacher of wisdom, but he was surely Close Enough, and in that moment, the man, in All His Adequacy, became the Mehssiah.
The Second Great Act: The Grabbing of the Fruit
Each and every day since the town’s first brick was laid, the Holy Tree offered the people fruit. And each and every day, one of the townsfolk would row across the lake to the island upon which stood the Holy Tree to claim its gift. Years passed with the tradition unbroken, until the bleakest winter the town had seen brought cold so fierce that the water turned to ice. The rowboat was trapped in an unrelenting frozen grasp. Panic struck the townsfolk that they might not reach the tree this day, and God would smite them down for their ungrateful ways - but one man stepped forth. It was Him, the mehssiah, in all His adequacy, and He said, “I guess I can maybe try to bring to you the fruit of the Holy Tree?”
And so He, the mehssiah, in all His adequacy, strode to the shore. Boots met ice, and it bore his weight. Mercy was upon Him as He stepped further from the shore with no sign of the ice cracking. Each step more adequate than the last, He made His way to the island. The fruit of the tree on this day was bigger and brighter than any fruit it had borne before. The mehssiah reached out and took it. He turned back, and placed boots upon ice once more. A subtle crack began to form, and He made haste toward the shore. The ice which had held His weight seemed unworthy to also hold the Holy Fruit. The crack grew, and with approximate accuracy He bowled the fruit along the surface. It reached the people on the shore with only moderate bruising, and at that same moment the ice beneath the mehssiah gave way. Honoured by His partially successful venture, the townsfolk rushed to save Him, in all in his adequacy, and He was pulled shivering to the sand. From this moment, the mehssiah knew He was destined to complete many more charitable acts to a mediocre standard, and He would always be Close Enough.
The Third Act: The Taming of the Beast
Despite the vague awareness a slowly growing number of citizens now had of Him, He, The Mehssiah, in All His Adequacy, remained humble. The Second Act was a tale told far and wide across the region within a three-mile radius of the Holy Tree. And so, when He, The Mehssiah, in All his Adequacy, first set foot in a new town, within a fortnight almost three people had uttered the words, “Hey, aren’t you that guy who helped those weirdos with their fruit superstition?” to which He replied, “Well, I wouldn’t call them weirdos, but yeah, sure, close enough.”
The almost three people spread word of His presence around the town until a meeting was called and a consensus was reached. The mayor spoke for the whole town, and told Him, The Mehssiah, in All His Adequacy, “Alright, if those fruity nutjobs over in that other town are worthy of help, us normal people damn well are too!”
And so the Mehssiah sat and listened to the troubles of the town, and once every man, woman, and child had spoken, He said, “Okay, so I’m not really experienced in most of these things but I guess I can try to talk some sense into your chicken, Mrs. Baker.”
The Mehssiah was led to a backyard with a small chicken coop. One bird in particular looked very cruel. The bird stared at Him. It was Edgar, the Chicken, in All His Animosity, and He, the Mehssiah, in All His Adequacy, stared back. For several minutes this lasted, until Edgar eventually realised intimidation would not work on this man. Edgar strode forth, and was accepted into the Mehssiah’s embrace. And then, the Mehssiah left, but Edgar followed. The wicked streak of violence in Edgar had miraculously been replaced with an infallible loyalty to the Mehssiah that left Mrs. Baker with one less chicken, but with a little more peace in both her heart and her backyard.
And so, whenever the townsfolk spoke of Him, The Mehssiah, in All His Adequacy, they spoke that He actually only really addressed one of their many issues. But that one issue was quite a significant chicken problem, and though it was not exactly the desired outcome, the townsfolk always remembered that it was Close Enough.
About the Creator
Laurence J. R. Nix
Sometimes I research particle acceleration and sometimes I do whatever it is you would call this.
The Charlotte Ransome Pottery Hour will also be available on RoyalRoad https://www.royalroad.com/profile/347877
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