THE HEAVENS—At a press conference Tuesday, God Almighty, our Lord and Heavenly Father, gave his strongest indication yet that he might soon step down from his post as the supreme ruler of all things.

Following a routine address during which God confirmed the recent extinction of several thousand species, the Divine Creator fielded questions regarding rumors of his possible retirement.

"I've been at this a long time," said God, ∞, the all-knowing, all-powerful being who has presided over the cosmos since forming it from sheer nothingness nearly 14 billion years ago. "And the truth is, this was never something I planned on doing forever. Lately, in fact, I've begun to wonder if I should move on sooner rather than later."

Over the past few centuries, God has on numerous occasions deflected speculation that his reign might be winding down, but his remarks Tuesday appeared to signal a shift in celestial policy.

While touting his accomplishments as the prime mover of all space and time, the Lord spoke with surprising candor about the recent struggles of his absolute dominion over heaven and earth, acknowledging that it hasn't always been easy for him to keep up with the rapid pace of modern existence.

A stunning vista brought into being toward the end of God's career.

"I couldn't be more proud of the universe I brought forth," God said. "But a lot has changed since then, and if I'm completely honest with myself, I'm probably not as passionate about my work as I once was. Things change. Who knows? I might not be the right entity for this job, going forward."

"Maybe we need some new ideas around here," God added. "Maybe heaven needs some new blood."

He Who Commanded Light to Shine Out of Darkness told reporters that his biggest regret was putting his job above spending more time with his son. In particular, God mentioned that he deeply lamented missing his only child's once-in-a-lifetime crucifixion.

"Your son's down there being martyred in front of all these people, but you can't be there for it," said God, his voice cracking slightly. "He thought I'd forsaken him. Of course, I was tied up working on something that seemed important at the time but that I can't even remember now. And I'll never get that moment back."

Many worry that God's retirement could create a void at the helm of creation that no omnipotent deity would be available to fill. However, sources close to the Heavenly Father pointed out that he has been gradually delegating key responsibilities to respected subordinates, such as the Holy Ghost, for at least an eon.

Attempting to downplay such concerns, God told reporters that he wasn't "going anywhere just yet" and that, in any case, the universe was largely self-sustaining these days.

"This place pretty much runs itself by now," the Lord said. "And besides, how many people still notice I'm around? To be frank, I'm not even sure I'm much more than a beloved figurehead at this point."

God was quick to emphasize that his potential retirement wouldn't mean a complete withdrawal from cosmological affairs, but would instead mark a transitional period during which he would step back a bit and take on a different role.

While he ruled out the possibility of creating a new universe, the Eternal One said he would be open to the idea of working as a consultant, perhaps judging the dead, offering his opinion on which civilizations should be wiped out by natural disasters, or performing the occasional miracle on a strictly freelance basis.

God also said he hoped to find free time to catch up on years of unanswered prayers, putter around with black holes in his basement, and, for the first time ever, take a trip just for the fun it.

"Maybe I'll visit Europe," God said. "I've never been in the Vatican, and I've heard it's supposed to be beautiful."