I have graduated from the University, am now in a stable job and promising career ahead. I am independent financially, can no longer ask for more. I get everything I want in life, and am already happy with my current situation. Don’t you think my journey on earth is kind of finished now; and time to focus on the Afterlife?
Someone overwhelmed me with that contemplation today; as long as we could manage to get the satisfaction in life, particularly in terms of financial matters, then life is more or less finished. Realistically speaking, how much money do we normally consume for daily living? A medium-sized bowl of rice, meat and pickles for three times a day. Sometimes with the dessert, and fruits. And probably some nice drinks, not necessarily expensive but just enough to appease the thirst. And then how much do we spend for rent (or mortgage), with some additional bucks for the sake of entertainment? Buying books, CDs, electronic-gadgets, theater tickets, and traveling occasionally. That’s pretty much it. We don’t have to be filthy rich like the Kardashians or the Trumps in order to ace our life and elicit the so-called “satisfactory” feeling :P. A person that I talked with today, has admitted that he is quite happy with how life treats him. Occasionally he recited the prayers and gratitude to The Almighty. Perhaps “life” on earth has finished for him, as he no longer has desires to attain more than he think he could get. Now it is the time to focus on the future-life, which is Life after the Life, by dedicating all of his resources in the God’s way to be able to get closer to God. The life is cast, and the God of abundance has given him a perfect life, a flawless one that he could ever think of. It is the moment to payback all God’s gifts.
That thought alone puts me in awe. How simple life is! -initially this was my reverie :P. Although I am still struggling financially by juggling some part-time jobs and Ph.D. research (not to mention some rigorous classes in-between), my standard of living is pretty decent according to World Bank’s poverty standard. No, actually it is quite lavish, compare to more than half of the population in the world. There are still 2.7 billions people living at the bottom of pyramids, with less than $2 income per day. Based on his conjecture, my affluent existence then has fulfilled its meant as well! I have accomplished many things in my 25 years of life, and God has placed me in the most pleasant position; a place that suits my socio-cultural and psychological situation. Is this the time to stop running and pull the brakes, switch off the accelerator for good and then focus on Afterlife as well? God has granted me boundless favor and protection, it becomes my obligation as His follower to dedicate everything to obtain his blessings.
Now now, shall I retire to a deserted village or alienated town, build a place of worship combined with the orphanage house and teach the orphans the religions and enlighten them about the grace of God? Shall I dedicate the rest of my life studying the Koran, learning the Arabic, and then spending nights and days try to decipher God’s message? Shall I dress *ahem* modestly, with long dark hijab, nude face without traces of make-ups, and pay little to none attention to outside appearance? And shall I go on with this abstinence and refrain myself from the world’s “dangerous indulgences and temptations” by closing all my senses to the blinks and enjoyment that the world offers? SHALL I REALLY TAKE THE “DIVINE” TASKS TO THE VERY EXTREME? SHALL I? MUST I? Honestly even the thought alone made me anxious and knelt down in frustration. No, like hell I can do it!!! (I don’t intentionally put the exclamation marks, it’s my sub-conscious who typed it).
I am grateful just to be able to live, and I don’t want my existence withers in vain. If others have their very own definition of being grateful to God, which is to hold on with abstinence and literally do the worship nights and day, then I possess my own too. I will fully utilize my accumulation of knowledge and experience for the greater good, that is to become a policy maker or creme-de-la-creme entrepreneur whose moves will make a big impact to the society. This will translate into a spillover web of advancement. True, maybe the work seems less seraphic than the duty of the preachers; but if every religious devotee becomes preacher, then what’s left for the world and its people? I don’t think devotion manifested in such a straightaway manner: you pray to God and then you get the reward. There are more atoms and strings that construct devotion. I do think that those people who actually have excessive knowledge and skills and choose to abandon them all in order to attain God’s reward does not understand what being grateful is. Ironically, that is a form of ungrateful manner; amongst all the earth-dwellers, small fraction of them are the privileged ones with superfluous resources in the form of knowledge and wealth. When they choose abstinence over “world”, they actually have banished the opportunities to do greater good deeds by not fully mobilizing their resources to help unprivileged people. I see that my arguments may contain numerous loops; even so, I agree that some people must take the role of being preachers, and some others, take the responsibility of merchants, soldiers, country leaders, et cetera. We are all walking in the path of God posing different identities, but the goal is the same: to be grateful of being alive by giving the generous contribution to the other human beings. Afterall, we inhibit the very same earth, and we are all mortals.
Contrary to what I used to do: debating, I didn’t rebut my friend for having that thought. Maybe some things are better left unsaid :P. In most occasions I have almost lost friends due to my outspokenness despite the absence of ill-thoughts and bad intentions from my side. Even if I can effectuate my accomplishment in the field of academic career, I still want to venture to other dreams: to explore the world, to allocate most of my time living in the head of imaginary characters and write stories of them, to be able to play music, et cetera. I am really grateful to God; hence will spend the rest of my lifespan to live life to the fullest, attain many things that I believe will bring good contribution to people and just be kind to others. Afterall in the final analysis, it is always between me and God, and not preachers in between.