Apathy and Religion

On the subject of religion, it looks that these days there are many who are just plain apathetic. Perhaps some of us have lost the desire or the courage or the ability to ask the bigger questions about spirituality. Maybe the controversial surrounding various religions upsets some or despite the subject is too confusing, as the beliefs vary so greatly. It's quite possible that it's simply easier to take in 'mind candy' from Reality TV or Desperate Housewives. There are no risks involved, it takes no effort and we'll never be challenged.

But should not we ask the bigger questions, like "Does God exist" and "What is truth", etcetera? Most religions on earth teach that after we die here on earth, we experience an afterlife which is almost always stolen of as an eternity – or that that our existence never really ends in death. Or in the case of Buddhism, we continue to live life in another form here on earth.

In any case, if this life is, in fact, temporary; ending in a death which leads to another existence, would not we do well to discover who God is, or even if he or she exists at all? Would not we be wise to at least make a serious attempt to do so? If we are eternal beings, is not this the most important subject we can study?

Many years ago, an acquaintance was explaining a situation wherein he almost died in an accident. He said, "My life flashed before my eyes". I told him I'd heard such a phrase used before when people were speaking of similar experiences and asked him to explain that phrase further. He said that it was as though he suddenly recalled his entire life from childhood to present in the mere seconds before the accident.

I wonder if he had been privileged with some sort of perspective that most of us never realize or think about. I wonder if, since upon death, we are embarking upon eternity, this flash of our life is a sort of perspective – a proper perspective. If we are really heading into a never-ending eternity, the perspective of our past 30 or 40 years, is rightfully viewed as a mere flash, when compared to the journey into eternity, for which we are about to embark.

Many who never attempt to wonder about such things as God and eternity decide upon their deathbeds to ponder the questions. Faced with a certain death, they are at this point desperate to learn what they can.

About 10 years ago, my best friend experienced what he feels was a near plane crash. On a flight from Las Vegas to Toronto, he awoke to the sounds of pure panic – crying and screaming and he realized the plane was nose-diving. While my friend was a Christian and surprisingly remained very calm, he surveyed the fear and terror in the other passengers. He had never witnessed fear like this. Passengers were screaming in terror, crying and praying. The flight attendants were no help to the passengers. One had hit her head on the ceiling of the plane at a sudden drop and the other was against the wall of the plane in a fetal position freaking out. These people who flew on airplanes almost daily were also clearly panicked at the situation. I'm sure to many, it seemed like sudden death was a real possibility.

However, once the plane reached a lower altitude it leveled out. My friend later was told that the plane dropped so severely for so long due to a loss in cabin pressure from a leak in the door. The plane safely made an emergency landing in Colorado.

I found the story very interesting and interesting to note that while we know we will all face death, many of us just do not give it much thought during our life. The fact that we will die is a certainty that no one will argue, but those on the plane who had never bothered to ask religious or afterlife-related questions were suddenly 'forced' to put a lot of thought into the concept. I would be willing to bet that there were many people on the plane who had not prayed in years, were suddenly praying fervently.

So do we ask the questions now? Do we want to know the truth now, or at least give ourselves our most honest and open-minded attempt to know the truth now? Whether you are 15 years old or 75 years old, death is certain. I do not mean to scare you into some kind of belief, nor would I ever want to do so. Rather, I would like to help you realize that an examination into the truth of spiritual matters will give you a confidence and a knowing, no matter what you decide in the end to be the truth. It should be a journey that is enjoyable and fascinating, no matter what concluding you will ever come to.