A man is trapped on top of a house in a roaring flood which threatens to drown him. Soon, the Coast guard arrives in a boat and asks him to jump in and they'll take him to safety. "No", says the man. "I shall not leave with you. If it is God's will that I be saved, he will save me." The boat departs. Awhile later, a ship arrives to rescue him. Once more the man repeats his chant. The ship goes away. Finally, a helicopter arrives just as the man is on the verge of drowning..they beseech him to come with them. "No", says the man. "I shall not leave with you. If it is God's will that I be saved, he will save me." Needless to say, the man drowns.
At the gateway of heaven, the furious man comes face to face with God. "I have always prayed to you selflessly. How could you leave me when I needed you most? I waited for you to save me, yet you let me die!!" God stared at him for a long moment then said " YOU IDIOT ! I DID MY BEST ! I SENT A BOAT, A SHIP AND A HELICOPTER TO SAVE YOU!!!"
Many look at the above anecdote as a joke. But I've always found it to be more than just humorous. There is such a basic truth to it.. how we blindly leave things in Gods hands when pushed against the wall.. not even recognising opportunity when it is right in front of our eyes. There is only so much that God can do without losing his cool and abandoning us.
Incidents with certain people have made me wonder just how warped the concept of religion is nowadays. So many people I know claim to be religious, fulfilling all the required prayer obligations needed and then some. They attend bhajans/mass/namaaz regularly, pray to their deity of choice..the whole works. But that's where it ends. I know for a fact that these people turn their back on those less fortunate than themselves, backstab openly, use people shamelessly and then dump them. And I wonder.. what about them? Are they getting a ticket to the pearly gates of heaven when their time comes because they pray or are they going to be judged for their actions?
There is a story in our old scriptures which tells of a sinner at his deathbed calling out "Narayana!!" before he passed away. While he was infact,calling for his son of the same name, his act caused a furore between the devils and angels who both claimed his body. In the end, God decreed that since he had taken the Lord's name before he passed away, his sins were washed away and he was granted permission into heaven.
To me, that just seems like such a weird loophole in the concept of Good and evil. Does confession in church really clear your slate with God? Do endless pujas and chanting of shlokas forgive you of intentional sins? I just think it's an escapists viewpoint. And I really hope that it isn't true - because then the whole point of doing good in one's life is useless.
My Aquarian viewpoint - I see religion as a path. It isn't important to question who's God is stronger, who's faith is more scientifically correct. What matters is the teachings. And I don't see people really giving that the importance it deserves. The message of any religion - love for one another, do no harm, care - is so lost on people. Everyone is so busy showing they know how to pray, but not how to care for each other. And as long as this continues, I dont see how things can get better. Fearing God and living is not the right way, Loving God and following his teachings- that makes a better person anyday than just saying the Lord's name and hurting people.
I guess I'll only know when my time comes, but I feel I'm right. I think I may just sneak in ahead of about 40 % of the religious fanatics who show no respect for human beings,feelings and the like... If I can just keep from falling into the same trap before my time is up.