Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reality Check - 2

If I visit the zoo and a little lamb came running towards me, I probably wouldn't be afraid at all because lambs are harmless. I might even reach out my hand and let the lamb lick it. But let's say I'm at the zoo and the alarm goes out that a lion has escaped from its cage. I'm standing there with my back to the wall and that lion comes running towards me, I'll sure be terrified because I know what lions can do. But just suppose that the runaway lion corners me and comes up to me - but instead of attacking me, it gently licks my hand the way the lamb did. If that happened whose gentleness would I appreciate more, the lamb's or the lion's?

Well, to put things in perspective, I am not that important if you judge me by my works and my talent and my abilities; and 100 or 200 or 500 years from now, no one will remember i even existed. Unless i am a Gandhi or a Hitler. Small and insignificant that i am, i am thankful i am spared, when i could have been destroyed. Grateful that i have been blessed, when my life was bad enough for me to be cursed.

What am i trying to get at here?

Well, for starters, its important to understand that we as humans are mighty insignificant, who lead delicate and fickle lives, as much as we might hate to admit it. The next earthquake, or the next tsunami or the next bout of road rage, or the next terrorist attack is all it can take to turn our lives, bundled with heaps of aspirations and dreams, into a cloud of smoke and a pile of nothingness.

To fully understand life and its significant trivialities, its important to look at the extremities that envelop our existence. Spend a day sitting on the benches outside the casualty ward of your local hospital and observe the patients as they are wheeled in from accidents and illnesses. Spend a day with a terminally ill patient who has realised that he only has a few months to live. Spend a day in your local slum, where the major worry every morning is whether the children will have food to eat for the day. Spend a day with the suffering and the sick and the hurt. Life is not about laughter and entertainment 24/7 even though the TV channels may want us to think so.

I am not an atheist, although i must admit i was one, at a point in my life when i was disillusioned with life. Brendan Manning puts it well when he says, 'The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.'

Waking up to reality was the toughest thing i have ever done, and the most significant thing i will ever do!

More to follow....

Earlier post - 1


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