Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reflections: The Moment I Stopped Believing

The moment I stopped believing, I lost myself. In this world, truly only three things remain as constants: love, hope and faith. The greatest of these is love, but the other two are great on their own ways as well. Love fuels faith, and love brings hope. Hope is the product of faith, and faith gives hope something to hold on to. The moment I stopped believing, I lost myself, I lost my hope, and I lost my love.

I used to think the world wasn't really complicated. That I, though insignificant, can make a name for myself, not to be forgotten way past my due date here on Earth. For some reason, I thought I could make it, I thought I can make a name for myself. If I just try hard enough, if I can just be better each day, then just maybe, I can break through and carve my name in history. If I can just push myself beyond my limits each day, each hour, each second, each passing moment; if only I can, then it would only be a matter of time. One way or another, I would have my own piece of history, a piece that no one would ever forgot.

All of this ambition of course burned down when the harsh reality took me everything from under me. The harsh reality of time, of money, of resources. The harsh reality that there would always be someone far greater and far better than me, and no matter how good I got, someone is still going to be above me. There are more than six billion people alive today based on a conservative estimate, and even if I place higher than someone right beside me, there are still going to be six billion other people to beat. Six billion people I might not even get a chance to meet. Six billion people that might be thinking of the same breaking idea that I have. Six billion people who would get there before I do.

It hurts to have your ambition cut out from you. It hurts to be shown the reality of things. It definitely hurts to know that you are nothing more than an insignificant speck in history, and nothing you can do will change that. The odds are just completely against you! Only a handful in six billion can brag about being the one, and to be part of this handful, its imperative that you have started with something already, or you must have been born under the right era or circumstances, or at best you must have been born lucky enough to be given a break. But not everyone is going to be lucky. Surely not me.

This is when I stopped believing, not abruptly, but slowly, gradually. I let go of my ambitions. I let go of being big. Each painful ambition removed is one new reality faced, one grim, painful and searing reality burned into my psyche. I knew it wasn't going to be, and there would be no point in pursuing such ambitions. And it is quite true. Yet still, reality crushed me further and further. Like a goldmine collapsing after years of exploitation, my soul collapsed. I literally lost something to hold on to.

Then I remembered once again, my favorite passage in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13, and along with it, 1 Corinthians 12. So plainly does it say, so plainly does it promise, so plainly does it show. Our talents would betray us. Our skills and abilities would never ever be enough. Reality would always be the victor. But if we just lift our skills, talents and gifts to the one who gave it to us; if we could just lift these up to Him, trusting Him fully that He would use us in the way most appropriate, then there would be nothing to fear.

Simply put, the only reason people are who they are is because God willed it so. People would claim that it is their will and not God's, but if God did not allow them to amass such resources, if God did not allow them to die early or to go bankrupt or to be victims of accidents, then they wouldn't have been who they are right now. Sure, people would say it was wise decisions that allowed them to avoid mortality, but ailments do not pick their victims.

To continue, this would mean that everything traces its origins back to God, even our own talents and skills and gifts. And God, in His sovereignty, had already picked for us where He wants us to use our gifts, in a way that we would be happy and in a way that we would truly feel important and loved. People will say this is oppressive, since this would mean we wouldn't have free will, but quite frankly, it's hard to think of free will if we are already clear of what we are hoping to move towards. Aren't we all seeking happiness? What more can we seek? Security, satisfaction, these are only synonyms of the word, expressed in a different light. If God, in his awesome might, had already made for us a place where we can be most happy, then isn't it logical that we try to use our free wills to search for that place?

Then we go back to faith. In the end, the only way all of these would be convincing is if one has faith; if one believed. If we believe in Him who made us, and if we believe that in His love, He had knocked so many times on the doors of our hearts to make us happy, primary of which is the sacrifice of His son; then and only then can we truly accept that we are only because He willed us to be. And because of this, we can certainly hope, that in the future, if we just trust Him with everything that we have, then He would show us the way to where we would be most happy. To where we belong. To our niche in history.

And even if through it all, this doesn't happen, we can rest assured that if we believe in His son and we take Him as our Lord and Saviour, then ultimately at the end of time, beyond even history itself, we will be with Him in happiness.

We aren't destined for history, we are destined beyond history. We must only have faith.