WHAT IF NOAH BUILT THE ARK TODAY? The Lord spoke to Noah and said, "Noah, in six months I'm going to make it rain until the whole world is covered with water and all the evil things are destroyed." The Lord continued, "But, I want to save a few good people and two of every living thing on the planet. I am ordering you to build an ark. Here are the specifications for the ark." "OK," Noah said, trembling with fear and fumbling with the blueprints, "I'm your man." "Remember! Six months and it will start to rain," thundered the Lord. "You better have my ark completed or learn to swim for a long, long time!" Six months passed, the sky began to cloud up, and the rain began to fall in torrents. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting in his yard, weeping, and there was no ark. "Noah!!" shouted the Lord, "Where is My ark?" A lighting bolt crashed into the ground right beside Noah. "Lord, please forgive me!" begged Noah. "I did my best, but there were some big problems. Let me explain. First, I had to get a building permit for the ark's construction and your plans did not meet the code. So, I had to hire an engineer to redo the plans, only to get into a long argument with him about whether to include a fire-sprinkler system." "My neighbors objected, claiming that I was violating zoning ordinances by building the ark in my front yard. So, I had to get a variance from the city's planning board." "Now, then, I had a big problem getting enough wood for the ark because there was a ban on cutting trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists and the US Fish and Wildlife Service that I needed the wood to save the owls, but they wouldn't let me catch them. So, no owls." "Next, when I started gathering up the animals, I got sued by an animal rights group that objected to me taking along only two of each kind. Just when the suit got dismissed, the Environmental Protection Agency notified me that I couldn't complete the ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of a Supreme Being. They told me that if they couldn't see it, it didn't exist." "Then, the Corps of Engineers wanted a map of the proposed flood plan. I sent them a globe. They didn't think that was funny." "Right now, I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Commission over the number of minorities I'm supposed to hire." "The Internal Revenue Service has seized all my assets claiming that I am trying to leave the country without a passport and without processing all the animals to make sure of no contagious diseases. Also, I just got a notice from the state that I need an inspection sticker, certificate of approval for water and land use, and I must pay personal property tax before I can get a license. You know, Lord, I don't think I can finish the ark in less than five years," With that, the sky cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up and smile, "You mean you are not going to destroy the world, Lord?" he asked hopefully. "No," said the Lord, "the government has beaten me to it."