Actually, it is very nice to be a Christian. Because it is a test of our discipline more than faith. And when we can overcome those inner struggles, the reward is very comforting.
Long time ago, a Prof who is the head of consultant in an ICU told me why she doesn’t want to be a Christian. She said she hates waking up early on Sunday morning to attend church. It does make sense, huh? Her husband and children have to do that. She said she prefer to stick to Buddhism as she can go to the temple anytime. Her faith in a higher being gave me a lot of confidence in turning to Christ. She shared me with that she also prayed very hard when the babies and children under her care do not seem to respond to treatment. Actually, that conversation took place in the ICU. She and I were waiting for my hubby to reach the hospital so that she could ‘pull the plug’ for my fourth son.
That conversation had stayed with me since then. Since I was the rojak Taoist campur Buddhist then, I have pretty laidback ideas about religion. To me, it is a relaxing relationship with someone, very much like an imaginary friend. Jesus is my imaginary friend. Only thing is, I have a huge manual to refer to, call the Word of God or the Bible. And that buku panduan has some of the most sensible things in the world.
This morning, I was forcing myself to go to church. In fact, I had a nightmare before that and I couldn’t wake up because I was tired out by driving and working in my dream. Doh..
I dreamt, I was asked to go for some work. I reached a roundabout and there are four roads I could take. It rained heavily and the roads were all flooded. I do not know which road to take and with the flood water, I cannot risk driving around. The rain was so heavy, I cannot read the road names. My phone ran out of battery. Somehow, I reached my destination, one and half hour late. I thought I was too late to enter. So, I stood outside. But someone came to call me and said the VIP is waiting for me before he starts. *grins*
It is not hard to decipher why I dreamt such dreams. Those are trials and tribulations we Christians face. We are constantly challenge with a barrage of doubts, questions, choices, temptations and etc. But the important thing is, there is no closed door, I guess.
So, I went to church, feeling very tired, very unsure and I found that the priest and the cantors are not my ‘preferred choice’. But, my imaginary friend, as usual, has a great sense of humour. Right from the first reading to the psalm up to the Gospel, it was like imaginary friend talking to me. (24th Sunday reading, Year 2)
And He asked, “Who do you say I am?” And I answered, “My imaginary friend.” Not the usual my Lord and Saviour, Son of God, prophet, Christ or any of the marvelous and glorious names Jesus is known as.
I discovered that my disappointment is with people. Not my imaginary friend. People whom I thought would help some poor old man. But they never did and never will. Yet, they will talk and preach and advocate all kind of things. My mentor aka free shrink told me never place any expectations on people. Even if they are someone mighty. Whatever comes, treat it as a bonus.
Today, in the letter of St. James, that’s exactly how I felt :
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
My imaginary friend has been in my car with me when I am terrified of facing some situations. My imaginary friend has been next to me when I say my night prayers. My imaginary friend knows what I want. My imaginary friend has shielded me from a lot of problems and dangers. My imaginary friend is ever present in my life. So, what greater faith can a person have than knowing the comfort that this imaginary friend never fail to deliver? That’s why imaginary friend piak (piak is the sound when you smack someone) me and told me to stop doubting, stop expecting common people to act like God and keep going. So, today, I say to hell with hierarchy, authority and constipated people. I will allow the Holy Spirit to manifest in me, and all glory and praise to Him.