In just the past two weeks, the news headlines were filled with stories that mimic watching re-runs on TV. Earthquakes and bombings, it feels like deja-vu where I struggle when conversing with others to specify which earthquake and which bombing.
In my one my entries not too long ago, I wrote about how last year's tsunami seemed so distant to us now, eventhough it only occured months ago. In a twinkling of the eye, some 230,000 people perished. Even today, the devestation that's caused by hurricane Katrina and Rita last month seemed to be overshadowed by the recent earthquake in Islamabad. The bombing in Bali? Well, it'll soon blowover when some other bombing happens elsewhere. And we will also pretty soon forget about the Avian Flu that's currently sweeping like wild fire in South Asia.
I guess it's a good thing then we can forget. Having all these events stored in our brains like how a hard disks does on a PC would definitely be hazardous to our health where I could imagine myself being ever so paranoid about everything. But I believe that it's gotten to the point where we even force ourselves to forget all these things. If we could, we'd rather not know about it. Death, for some, still seem so far because we're shielded by this false perception of security.
Last Friday night, as I was driving Szu Anne home, I had an interesting talk with her. We talked about how many of us take life for granted. Many of us live as though we still had 10,000 years to live. And for these people, it would then make sense to see why they're working so hard to build their wealth, status and even empire. Of course, there is this other extreme side where one live as though today was his last, and spend every breathing moment indulging him/herself in earthly pleasures, and not spending a moment at all to think of what tomorrow may bring.
Who's right, and who's wrong? Well, of course, both are wrong. This is because even in their different take on life, yet, they hold a common value: living for themselves. When life is all about me, myself and I, whether you go all out to maximize your enjoyment, or painfully plan how to enjoy it in the future, it's still boils down to the same thing: selfishness.
Jesus made it ever so clear in the gospel where he said "Everyone who saves his life will lose it, but those who lose it for my sake, will find it" and "What good shall it be for a man to gain the whole world, and yet, lose his soul?". If we could only pray and ask God to open up our eyes to see the glorious richess that He's prepared for us, we would abandon all that we have, and strive with all our hearts to prepare ourselves for this reward. And also, when our hearts are attuned with heart of God, where love overcomes everything else, including ourselves, we would want to bring as many people as we can with us, to the place where this heavenly bliss can never be described with earthly words, nor compared with anything that we can ever cook up for ourselves or find in this natural universe.
There are news articles that are saying that disasters on a global scale are increasing rapidly, where the number of death occured from one incident is steadily on the rise. I pray that our attitude when we read such articles may not be: "Thank God it didn't not happen here, or to me.." but rather, "Oh Lord, lead me to where you want me to go, and give me the strength to obey!"
Thru these disasters, God is letting us know that we need to wake up, that there is no "safe-haven" in this world. Our only refuge is Him. Our only hope is Him. May we not leave this truth, but cling onto it with all our hearts.
May God have mercy on us all.