Incredibly Inconvenient Deity
So you found God. No, the actual, physical
God. Turns out He wants you to do His bidding. Now, surely said bidding will always be reasonable things like, say, working as a volunteer in a soup kitchen, which earns you good reputation and - while it might be a bit of a burden on your time or money - won't consume your life, right?
WRONG! Turns out God wants you to behave outrageously, summons you at the worst times possible and sometimes even causes effects that will be very much of a burden on you, leading to losses from your reputation to your job or even your spouse! Oh, of course, this tends to solve itself, what with the Omniscient Morality Licence
, and All Is Well That Ends Well
. But the Almighty will NEVER make things easy on you. He WILL make you grow a beard all of a sudden. He WILL tell you cryptic stuff and tell you to Figure It Out Yourself
. He will never tell you why or how setting fire to a box full of kittens on national TV will make anything better, but he will force you to do it anyways, your presidential campaign be damned! In short, you can expect any Physical God
that chose you as their envoy to disrupt your life as much as they can (and they are omnipotent...) for the benefit of the audience.
- Evan Almighty. The beard example comes from there and is particularly jarring, given that it had no practical purpose whatsoever. Then there are the MANY birds entering Evan's office through the window.
- ...which, of course, is a sequel to Bruce Almighty, where the same God simply dumped all his powers into one guy just to show him how tough God had it.
- Depending on your views of The Bible, The Bible has stories very much like this - especially if you consider that many of the Christian values lots of cultures have now were novel - to say the least - to the people of that culture.
- "Adam, don't eat that fruit. No, not that one, that one is fine, that one right there."
- "Cain, Abel, take the best work you've done this year and set it on fire."
- "Noah, build a boat. A reeeeaaaally big one. You'll thank me later."
- "Abram, change your name and tell everyone in your family to start walking that way."
- "Hey, Abraham! Me again. Remember that son I promised you would give you a legacy of nations? Kill him. Then burn the corpse."
- "Moses, could you leave the family you've spent the last forty years raising, and go cause trouble for the people who chased you away as a murderer? Thanks, I appreciate it."
- "Joshua, go conquer that big citadel over there. No, no, don't try to lay siege or anything, just hold a parade every day for the next week."
- "Those are some very nice spoils of war, Saul, but no, you don't get to keep them."
- "Samuel, go wander around the hills for a while. I want you to appoint one of the people you meet there as the next king. I'll let you know when you find him."
- "Hosea, I want you to go marry a prostitute. Name all of your kids after my disappointment in Israel."
- ...yes. It's kind of a thing.
- Justified in Small Gods, where the Great God Om lacks the power to do things in a way that would be at all convenient for The Chosen One, Brutha, because Gods Need Prayer Badly and it's gotten to the point where Brutha is the only one who actually believes in him.
- Peter Pays Tribute has a god sending Peter on a quest for the incarnation for sickness. With no directions, clues, or hints, either. Good luck on that one, Peter.
- Joan of Arcadia. The title character had to, among other things, destroy works of art and re-take a test she had aced.
- Journeyman hinted that the character's time jumps were for a purpose. They were seriously inconvenient, and he could disappear when driving down the road, end up without clothes in snow, etc.
- Karma (well, the Theme Park Version of it, anyway) is portrayed this way in My Name Is Earl. Earl has to stick to his list, even when Being Good Sucks. Otherwise, Karma punishes either him, or people around him (such as a beautiful professor he had recently started dating).
- The ending of Quantum Leap showed this to be the case, as God himself, seen as a bartender, has been sending Sam on his jumps to fix mistakes in history rather than just let him go home. The final episode is kind of Him finally giving Sam a choice about whether to continue (considering the incredible amount of good he could do for the world) and offering him a chance at a personal do-over. Sam being the kind of person he is, decides to keep going, and uses his favor to go back and help Al hang onto his first wife, the love of his life.
- Daedric quests in The Elder Scrolls series of games can get this way. Kill a bull netch with a fork to please Sheogorath! Fake the apocalypse for Sheogorath! Cast a spell of mass disrobing at a dinner party for Sanguine. Commune with Boethia at his shrine (on the sea floor). Kill and soul-trap one member of every sapient race for Hermaeus Mora. You are not repulsive enough to worship Namira. The Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion takes this to the next level as you travel to the plane of Sheogorath (where attempting to grow a beard attracts divine punishment).
- Godville: It's one option to continually bother your hero with commands, and probably the only way to actually get him to consistently do things you want him to. Still, being your only follower in a world where miracles run on prayer, he either knows he has the privilege to sass you back and abuses it, or is too dumb to be aware he shouldn't be talking back to his deity and does so.
- Some theologians use this as a solution to the problem of theodicy. The existence of evil is something for us to overcome. Natural disasters and diseases and suffering are so that we can grow as people. It builds character.