Saturday, 16 March 2013
Fame and Mosquitoes
My interest has always been twofold: first, to serve as a professional scientist, and second, to serve as a helper in spiritual affairs.
When I was actively involved in scientific research, I used to have many opportunities to help people spiritually. Although people are highly educated, I found that they are suffering from a lot of personal and interpersonal problems.
I was able to share certain spiritual principles with them and help them to change their attitude and find fulfillment. I have enjoyed the status and the positions associated with my profession. I also have enjoyed good friendships with my colleagues. It has been very satisfying to travel to many countries, getting to know people of various backgrounds and sharing with them the importance of the spiritual component in life.
In earlier days I was fully satisfied with a seat in a bus or in the unreserved compartment in the train during my travels. But as my status grew, so did my expectations. Just getting someplace wasn’t enough. Soon I was accustomed to first-class travel, and I began to see that as the most enjoyable kind of travel. For so long I had seen various “lucky” people standing in the line for check-in at the international departure areas. I remember thinking: Someday I will be flying to go abroad. When it finally happened, I knew I had arrived.
After a while though, I reached a point when I began to dislike traveling altogether, in spite of all the special assistance and priority services I received. I was simply tired of travel itself. The round-the-world travel several times a year, staying in different places, even in good and clean hotels, receiving the applause of people—these things were no longer a thrill.
Nowadays I try to avoid or limit such international trips. I have learned that these are not the most important things in life. It is all right to enjoy modern travel facilities, accommodation and restaurants. But they are not the things that count. What counts is whether or not these things have anything to do with the Kingdom of God. That’s what is important. I realized that a person is not going to become great by travelling in the first-class section of the plane, neither will one be diminished by traveling in the third-class compartment!
Of course, it may be difficult for those who are used to a particular lifestyle to go down to a lower standard. I still find it difficult to adjust to some things. In the past, for example, I was able to sleep in a room without any ceiling fan in spite of the mosquitoes feeding on me. I would only see the rashes of the mosquito bites the next morning. Nowadays, I find sleeping without a fan a little difficult. Even though my body and my ego might say no to some readjustments, I know I must be willing to accept whatever the Lord provides for me.
Sometimes He provides a room without even a fan. Sometime He provides nice, comfortable, mosquito-proofed and air-conditioned accommodations. I must be willing to accept anything that the Lord gives me—comfort or discomfort, sickness or healing. Whatever the circumstances, I know God’s grace is available in the midst of it. That is where true greatness lies- in seeing everything in the light of the Kingdom goal.