Life & Death
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
I was raised in a Christian home, sent to Sunday School every week, and took part in Church plays for Christmas. We memorized Bible verses and sang hymns. I was never good at memorizing Bible verses. I was never good when it came to memory. We joined a Christmas Carolling group one of those years. I love Christmas. It’s my favourite time of year.
I never once doubted my religion. I never once doubted the existence of God. I always thought that I was rather lucky. To be born knowing God. To be blessed with health and a loving family. We had our fair share of problems. Our fair share of family drama. My dad ran away when I was 10, leaving my mom to single handedly raise 3 kids. She adapted fairly quickly. Borrowing books from the library teaching her how to use today’s software. Software such as Microsoft Office, which came in rather handy when she went out to look for a job. I never once blamed anyone for anything that happened. But I always thanked God for walking us through and for the little blessings he had laid upon us.
15 years down the road and I’m at a junction. I lost my job and I realised how few true friends I really had, I was turned down for my dream job thrice, not because I wasn’t good enough, not because I was unknown or had no experience, I had numerous people from different departments and projects in the company backing me up. But I was turned down because someone’s wife didn’t like me. And I was turned down for an opportunity to travel the world because I screwed up.
I am not blaming God for 2013 being a horrid year for me. But being out in the real world, cold, vulnerable and weak, has opened up the world for me. I’ve never been afraid to question things I do not understand. I’ve never been afraid to question my own faith. After all, how could it be real faith if you’re afraid to question it; if you’re afraid to explore possibilities.
I confess, I never really read the Bible. As I’ve said, my memory skills were (is) horrid. But as I started thinking, I took the Bible out and started reading. But I didn’t like what I was reading. It made me feel as though I was worshipping a self-centred God who punished people who defied him, and only created us to worship him. He allowed evil to penetrate our existence, after all, he created everything, he is omniscient. He knew what would happen, but he went right ahead and created it anyway. It feels as though we’re people trapped in a TV, we were made for his entertainment. I’m sure that there are really great people out there, with pure hearts and pure intentions, who aren’t Christians. Are they to be sent to hell as well for not believing? That’s what the Bible says. But God promotes forgiveness. The only thing they’ve done wrong, was not believing.
Who’s to say that we humans, didn’t create ‘God’ just to soothe our worries about the one thing that frightens men most; Death. After losing sight of my faith, I begin dwelling into the depression of Death. What if we only made ‘God’ up just to comfort ourselves at the possibility of there being a Heaven. No one wants to die. I don’t want to die. In my younger days, when I was so overly confident of my religion, I was prepared to die, if ‘God calls me to come home to him’. “I’ll be going to a better place” I remembered myself saying. But when I lost sight of religion, of God, of the faith I had in him, death became a depressing trigger. If there is no life after death, it would mean we would cease to exist. What would it mean to cease to exist? We no longer think, no longer dream, just. gone. It’s something I can’t come to terms with. It is said that a person dies twice. Once when he leaves this world, and once when his name is mentioned for the last time. Death is such a tragedy.
I’ve said it many times, to numerous friends, I don’t want to believe for the sake of believing. I don’t want to ‘believe’ as a form of ‘insurance’. That “if I were to die, if there’s a God, great! A ticket into heaven.”. I want to believe because I’ve questioned it and have found my answers to my questions. I want to believe because I believe. But I have yet to find any answers. My heart and mind is still open to receiving God, but at this moment, I have nothing.