We are astray by temporary pleasures
There was once a man who could talk with God. He asked God, “O Almighty Lord, You are all-powerful. You can do anything you wish. Everyone must bow to Your will. All around me I see misery and pain. There seems to be no end to it. Most people I know have a period of happiness and then adverse events happen and they often sink into a state of despair. They struggle to make things right, but the power of nature and time always prevails. They live in a constant state of anxiety about the future. At any time, their life is subject to trouble and tragedy.
Lord, please be merciful to humanity. Why not liberate everyone from the cycle of birth and death? Take all of us back to Your eternal abode where we can enjoy eternal life without any suffering? God smiled and said, “My dear friend, even if I asked everyone to leave this world of sickness, old age and death, they would not agree. They actually desire to stay here and struggle.”
“How can that be possible? I cannot believe that! How do I know You are right?”
“Friend, go and ask the people yourself. You can see for yourself.”
God’s friend set out to meet people and reassure them that God will immediately take them to heaven if they want and free them from birth and death. The first person he met was an old man who was living with his children, grandchildren and his first to be great grandchild. God’s friend spoke to him sincerely about attaining immediate salvation from the miseries of life. He seemed interested at first. As they talked the grandchildren came to sit on his lap and talk to him. He became preoccupied with his adorable family. Soon he dismissed God’s friend because it was his time to play with the children.
God’s friend was astonished that the old man was not at all interested in salvation. He continued his search until he met a drunkard sitting piteously on the sidewalk. He spoke to the man and said, “Sir, if you continue drinking you will go to hell. Stop wasting your life drinking and come with me. I’ll take you to God and He will immediately free you to enjoy eternal life.
The drunk said, “My father was a drinker. Is he in hell now? God’s friend said, “Yes.”
“And my mother and brothers also were drinkers. Are they too?”
“And my uncle and aunties and cousins?”
“Well then,” said the drunk. “It can’t be that bad if all my relatives are there. I’ll go and join them and continue the party.” The drunk began to laugh and sing a song about drinking with friends and family.
God’s friend was shocked. He sadly walked on trying to find someone to accept God’s salvation. He encountered a sad woman whose husband had left her. She had two children. She worked during the day while her children attended school. Her life was a constant challenge balancing between work and taking care of her children. She had no time to think of anything else. God’s friend tried to talk to her about immediate salvation. Her only comment was, “If God is really interested in me, then let Him come here and help me pay my bills.” She was so involved in her day to day struggle to maintain her children that she couldn’t imagine any way to free herself.
God’s friend felt frustrated. He couldn’t understand why people were not interested in putting a end to their suffering. Walking on, he met a talking pig. He thought, “Surely this miserable creature will accept God’s magnanimous offer.” He said,
Pig, my friend, there is another world above this one that is free of suffering. Come with me and I’ll introduce you to God. He will free you eternally from your miseries.”
“Can I sleep in the mud and eat garbage and people’s stool in heaven?” asked the pig.
“No,” said God’s friend. “There are no nasty things there. But you can eat wonderful food food in heaven that is fresh and smells good and sleep on soft grass.” The pig looked at him with a puzzled look.
The pig asked, “Can I continue to father many children like I do here?”
“No. Everyone is eternal. There is no need to father children there.”
The pig became impatient and said, “Why are you wasting my time talking about heaven. I am in heaven now eating tasty stools and fathering as many piglets as I wish. Go away. I don’t want to go to your heaven.”
God’s friend realized that nearly all people in this world of misery were deluded by temporary pleasures and incapable of understanding their state of misery. How then can they understand the eternal world where there is no suffering. How can they understand the happiness of eternal life with God?