Following the veiled threat from the agitated group of Hebrew workers, Moses called out to God to speak with Him.
“What is it?” said God.
“My Lord, this mission to Egypt you sent me on isn’t working out at all well. I’ve so far done all you asked me to, and the result is that the Pharaoh has decided to punish the Hebrews even more. And some Hebrews, blaming me for this, have threatened my life. What am I to do?”
“Your faith in me is fickle, Moses. You give me doubts I picked the right man to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. It’s too late, though, for Me to make a replacement. You’ll have to do.”
“I can only do my best, My Lord. But you have to guide me better.”
“Let me assure you, Moses, that the Pharaoh will eventually bend to My will, by means of you of course. You are My instrument. Don’t forget that. There will be set-backs. But we’ll come through, you and Me both. And the Hebrews will as well. We mustn’t forget the Hebrews, must we, ha ha ha.”
“You have a sense of fun, My Lord. I like that.”
“I think, rather, I have a sense of irony more than anything else. Irony, or paradox if you will, runs all through the universe I created. Everything is defined only through its opposite. You can’t know what big is unless you know what small is. You can’t know what love is unless you know what hate is. You can’t know what good is unless you know what bad is. You can’t know what life is unless you know what death is. Do you get the picture?”
“Yes. Of course. Yes.”
“There are only paradoxes, Moses. Unless you understand this you’ll go mad. Lighten up, and you’ll be happy.”
“You make absolute sense, My Lord. To think I’d never seen this before.”
“You hadn’t seen it because as a mortal man, you’re imperfect. It is only I, God, who am perfect.”
“Can I ever aspire to be perfect, My Lord?”
“Of course you can aspire to be perfect, Moses, and you should, for the more you aspire to be perfect, and do everything you can to be perfect, the closer to perfect you’ll become. However, you’ll never actually become perfect because were you to become so, you’d be Me. Unfortunately for you there’s only one Me, and always will be. Can you live with this?”
“Do I have a choice, My Lord?”
Source: Exodus 5; 22