I came across an article by someone who wrote about the ultimate goal of life. Basically, the essence of that article is this: Do not feel pain or happy for anything. By giving up your feelings, you will soon reach a godly state.
Sometimes I do not understand what will happen after reaching this godly state? If that is godly state, then what is the point of many beautiful things in this world like a smile of an innocent child, healing touch of beautiful nature, or a spectacular display of wonderful stars? Are not they inspiring us to express our feelings of joy, gratitude and awe? Would it be right to suppress such feelings? If we try to suppress feelings of joy, in fear of getting hurt, what difference is it between dead bodies and us?
What if God is someone who has feelings and emotions? What if God created this world for a wonderful purpose, but humans messed it up with their evil desires and selfish motives? What if God is still pursuing mankind and trying to establish His Kingdom on this earth? What if every one of us has a part to accomplish that purpose? We cannot just try to escape pain and joy in this world, and say we are trying to be holy. Is not that escapism? Is not that hypocrisy?
Recently, I went to a postal office to ship a package to Canada. The woman, who was helping me with my transaction, was in her mid-fifties, I guess. She made an obvious error about my package. I brought that to her notice indirectly. She replied rudely “I have been working here for more than 30 years. I am not stupid”. My conversation with her was not fruitful in fixing the error. I shipped the package assuming that she was correct.
Almost a month passed by. My package was returned because of the error she made. For a moment, I was angry. I thought why should I be going through unnecessary hassle because of her. My immediate reaction from my human reasoning was that of teaching her a lesson and exposing her mistake to the manager. I waited. I didn't want to react immediately especially when the reaction was not a positive one. Who knows what issues she was going through on that day with her colleagues or her family members? I prayed. I asked God what He wanted me to do with her. I got a confirmation not to do anything right then.
Few days went by. I had to go to the same postal office, and the same woman was there at the counter. After my transaction had completed, I told her in a low voice about the problem that I went through because of her mistake. She didn't apologize to me. She nodded with a brief reply “It has never happened in my career so far”. I thought “God, please forgive her” and moved on. The fact that she was working with that postal office for more than 30 years showed that she must be a good employee, though she made some mistakes or she must be having a bad day.
Contrary to a theory I mentioned at the beginning of this article, which suggested suppressing our feelings, on the other hand, many famous writers and psychologists tell us to vent out our feelings. But things can get out of control if we only trust our feelings. Instead of 'venting out' our negative feelings, we can demonstrate God's qualities such as mercy, love and forgiveness. Venting out negative feelings will not help in the long-run. We must learn to be strong to absorb others' negative feelings.
It is like this. We have been forgiven by God many times, for the mistakes that we made. In the same way, we have to forgive others. That makes God smile. Then all kinds of miracles can happen. As Jesus said, when we have that love in our hearts, we can even move mountains. It is not easy to have that kind of love, especially in this world of hurt and pain. But it may not be difficult if we look at Jesus Christ and his cross, and take God's help.