This is a story one of the child care worker in a church where we attended service told my wife. This lady visited India on a mission trip once and met the person who was the overseer of their ministerial ventures in India, which included orphanages and hospitals in poverty stricken areas of Southern India.
He was born to a couple who practiced Hindu religion for so many years, probably for so many generations. His grand parents did ‘puja’ everyday, a Hindu religious ritual, where they typically put the statues or pictures of gods in a room, recite some prayers sitting in front of those gods, throw flowers, and incenses on them. At the end of the ceremony, they usually take rice and milk in different pots and offer it the gods. They keep the rice and milk in front of gods and leave from the room and lock the room down. The belief is, at night the gods would eat the rice and drink the milk, showing their satisfaction in their puja. If they didn’t eat, that means they were not happy and the ‘puja’ should be prolonged the next day.
After his grand parents, his parents continued the same.
As a boy he too was asked to participate in the ritual and witnessed with his own eyes that the next day both rice and milk are gone miraculously. But the whole thing, gods eating rice and drinking milk didn’t really resonate with his teenage mind. One day he decided to investigate. It wasn’t that easy to make such a decision knowing the belief system of the entire family for so many years. But his young mind, curiosity and courage won. He wanted to see the gods coming and eating and drinking the stuff kept for them. He did not sleep one night, waited impatiently in the dark to see gods coming. In the silence and darkness of that night, to his surprise he saw some rats coming out of some debris in the corner of the room, eating all the rice and drinking the milk! That was a real shock to his tender mind. He was depressed and disillusioned.
For so many years, he along with his parents, grand parents and probably so many of his other relatives believed a lie. Now, he even wished he didn't see the rats.
He could have faked the belief and cheated his family next day onwards by suppressing the truth, but he decided not to. The next day, he brought this to the attention of his family members expecting that they would realize it was foolish to think that the food was eaten by gods. But to his surprise, they got so angry at him. They blamed his unbelief, yelled at him, threatened him if he tells this to anyone, and tortured him tremendously. It was as if they wanted to believe the lie to gratify their spiritual needs. Eventually, the climax of the story came and he was expelled from his family.
I don’t know all the details in between, but ultimately he found Jesus. He eventually started some outreach programs, charity organizations in collaboration with some U.S ministries.
Some times the American Politics puzzles me, particularly the recent democratic politics. Hilary and Obama opposed on foreign policies, health care, military, religion and pretty much on everything for so many months while they were independently campaigning for becoming the presidential nominee. There were debates proving each sides, throwing dirt on each other, negative commercials, gossiping, anger, cries and all that. Now all of a sudden, they both, sharing the same stage, declared they are on this campaign together and embraced each other. What surprises me most is that people seems to be okay with that. They think there is nothing wrong. Are they reluctant to face reality or is it too easy to believe a lie majority believes?
When I sin, sometimes I try to convince myself that it was an 'accidental' sin. People say they don't sin deliberately but I don't believe them. When I sin, I sin deliberately. But I still try to see if I can escape from the guilt by my own.
We all try to escape from truth once in a while, hesitating to face the reality. But truth is still truth, it is absolute. Not everything we believe about God is not true as well, even some of the good things. The fact that we believe in something for so many years, decades or centuries doesn't make it true.
I believed for so many years that God was pleased when people attended Mass. Then I believed that the people who spoke in tongues were more spiritual than the others. For few years I thought pastors were our 'spiritual authority'. I thought I was a dump and was rejected by God when I heard people claiming that they all experienced the 'power of God' in worship services and private prayers. I thought I had no testimony to share, like them.
Okay, now watch this video... (Wondering if it's gods or rats doing it...)