PREPARATION FOR ETERNITY

As a child, I used to wonder where people go when they die? When the body is placed in the coffin and the final nail is struck, and all seems to be over, what if the person inside opens his/her eyes again? Won’t the person feel suffocated and afraid of the darkness inside? What if s/he wants to come out? There would be no one to hear his/her cry for help from where s/he is buried deep down in the earth! Such thoughts often scared me.

A child’s mind is not developed enough to fathom the deeper truths of life. Nor can it rise up to the higher levels of cognitive functioning. Hence, my wondering continued to wonder. I was told that when people die, they go to God. But I wasn’t really able to gather this abstract reality much, as a child.

As the truths about life and death sunk deeper into me gradually, I realised how transient earthly life is! And how perpetual the future eternity is!

The concept of eternity still doesn’t mean much to many, especially because it is too abstract to imagine and understand. To explain in simple terms – ‘eternity is endlessness in time’ – no count of years or months or days or hours or minutes. And, eternity is what awaits the human spirit once the earthly stint gets over.

Life on earth is for a few decades at the maximum. Even the person with record-holding life span, ultimately dies. One wise writer writes thus ‘What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. True enough, generations have come and gone by all across the world. No one stays on forever.

So if the earthly life is temporary, and eternity is everlasting, don’t we need to prepare for it? If we decide to holiday out-of-station, how much in advance we prepare and wait with excited anticipation! This involves preparation for a few days or may be for a few months at the maximum. What then ought to be the magnitude of preparation for eternity!

Life on earth is a preparation for what is in store for eternity. Each day each moment of our lives on earth takes us one step closer to eternity. How carefully ought we to live our lives on earth, then!

How do we then, prepare for eternity?

To answer this, we must first be sure of what is in store for us in eternity.

Eternity comprises of eternal life and eternal death. Eternal life is life in the constant presence of God. How blissful! The thought itself excites the mind! And, eternal life (a life that never ends) is in store for all those who confess their sins while on earth, repent for them, seek forgiveness from God and strive to live a life for the glory of God. This is because, if we are to spend eternity with a Holy God, we need to be holy as well. Eternal death, on the other hand, is a total abandonment from the fellowship of God. Those who choose to continue with sinful lives without remorse, regret, repentance or seeking forgiveness from God, those who do not acknowledge the existence of God are banished to eternal death. This is because no one can thrive in the companionship of God without being cleansed from sin.

Eternal death is horrible. That is why, even for a joke’s sake or even for one’s most hated enemy, one never ought to say – ‘Go to hell!’ – which is often considered a casual statement when one is angry or is in a light mood.

Eternal life is what we all ought to strive for and encourage all around us to aspire for. None should be left behind from savouring the eternal bliss to which God invites each of His handmade human beings. The pains, tears, anxieties, sorrows and sickness of this earth will be brought to nought when one enters eternal life. Words cannot do justice to describe what eternal life would be like. To explain the wonders of eternal life, the Bible says – “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

An eternal life of bliss invites us all. Are we prepared?

THE MIRACLE OF MY BIRTH

Some time back, I had watched a programme on television – a story from a book being enacted. It showed a sick man lying on a cot with the doctor examining him. The man’s little son was looking expectantly at the doctor to hear something positive. The doctor removes his stethoscope, shakes his head and says, “Only a miracle can save your father.” The little boy who had already lost his mother is determined to save his father’s life. He empties his piggy bank, counts the money, puts it all in a pouch and sets off. Thinking that MIRACLE is the name of a medicine, he goes to all the chemist stores in his village offering all his money for a bottle of MIRACLE. All the chemists shake their heads saying that they have never heard of this medicine.

With tears of hopelessness running down his cheeks as he is returning homewards, an old man sees him and enquires his plight. On hearing the boy’s sad story, the wise old man smiles and says that he knows where MIRACLE can be got from. The boy’s face lights up and he offers the pouch of money and asks the man to get it for him immediately. Refusing to take the pouch of money, the old man points upwards and says, “it is only God who is capable of DOING MIRACLES.

Any seemingly difficult/impossible thing coming to pass – we label it as a miracle. The dictionary definition of miracle reads thus, “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” The things that we are able to do, may be with a lot of effort and help from others, are not called miracles, no matter how hard they may seem to be got done. But, those things which are out of our reach altogether and no human aid whatsoever can make it possible – when such things happen, they are miracles!

I call my birth a miracle and my parents testify it so. Expecting a baby for the first time is a novel and joyous experience for any woman. So was it for my mother. When my parents paid a visit to the gynaecologist at the end of my mother’s first trimester, they were in for a shock! The gynaecologist suggested my parents to get the pregnancy terminated as there was no growth and no shape of the foetus – just a mangled mass of flesh.

My parents were heart broken. My mother was inconsolable. As they reached home, they couldn’t gather the courage to decide to terminate the pregnancy. They just prayed that God would guide them as to what to do. Days passed by. Still they could not arrive at any decision. It was then that my father suggested that they go in for a second reference before arriving at a final decision. They went to another gynaecologist for a check-up without sharing with her the previous reports.

The fresh reports came as my parents were waiting with their hearts in their mouths. To their amazement, the gynaecologist went through the reports and said that the foetus is developing well, only that my mother was weak and needed a lot of rest! On hearing that, they shot a volley of queries to the gynaecologist and were satisfied by what she said. They would have had such a relief that evening – I cannot imagine!!

As a living evidence of that miracle, here I am – alive and penning these lines today! Had my parents decided instantly to terminate the pregnancy and had God not led them to seek a second reference, I wouldn’t have seen the light of this world. Whenever I think of this or hear my parents narrate this incident, I remember the Psalmist’s words in the Bible –

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

I wonder how intricately the Master Designer would have given form, shape and breath to that mangled lump of flesh so as to make it whole. It defies human understanding! And in case it was all about just a faulty diagnosis, how wonderfully the Divine Director stopped my parents from taking a hasty decision and in course of time, led them to a second referral. Again, it goes beyond logical comprehension!

Miracles do happen! And it is only God who can work them out – when we rely on Him. When we choose to rely on ourselves and people around, we don’t give God scope to show His magnificence. But, when we turn to God with faith for those impossibilities of our lives, He shows His divine power.

Are you among those who has never experienced a miracle in your life? It’s time you tasted it! Look around you and within you for the most impossible thing in your life. It may be some area in which you are desperate to have a breakthrough, but all doors seem to be locked. Give it into the hands of the Almighty God for whom nothing is impossible – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And wait with faith. Do not doubt. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Miracles cannot be bought with money or with righteous deeds. Wait on God with faith and you will see the impossibilities of your life turning into possibilities. You will see those tall mountains that cage you from all sides, crumble into heaps of dust thus making the way for beams of exhilarating light to engulf you.

Gear up for a new experience!

 

DREAMS: PANDORA’S BOX

 

Dreams… The word always ends on a soft sigh. Such a small word but the definition of it is endless. It opens our world to infinite possibilities. It springs hope eternal.

What an amazing feeling is that to know you can do anything you want to do. Be anything you want to be…

The world is your oyster, to live, love and conquer. But people have twisted it around, confused it with reality, put it on a pedestal and think it to be something that is out of reach.

We have confused aspiring for dreams with pursuing happiness. Because we have been told time and again to compromise, to adjust with our circumstances and though there is nothing wrong with that.

But that is a way to exist not live. And it’s because of all these voices around us or even within our head that we have stopped believing in ourselves. We have accepted the fact that we can only dream in a fitful state of sleep. But as it has been said, ‘A dream is something that keeps you awake.’ It is something that takes shape when you are conscious.

“I have a dream …” The most powerful lines ever spoken in the history of mankind. These lines they inspire me, because of the passion they were spoken with…spoken during a time of such distress.

wpid-wp-1443499695373.gifDo we not live in a better and evolved world today???  What is our worse circumstance? Reality?? Is that it? Think about it…

Who is stopping us to reach for our dreams?  Is it the world around or is it that feeble voice in the recesses of our mind that says “what if I fail?”

So I ask you today “Do you have a dream? ” If yes, then go get it because you can, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If no, then take a peek inside that Pandora’s Box, You will be pleasantly surprised!!

Avishikta