You Think You Can Choose God Like You Choose a Pair Of Shoes?
There is something spiritual about old books and libraries – maybe it’s the smell of paper or evoking childhoods memories, but there is a definitive spiritual connection every time you enter a library.
When I was younger, there was a library next to my building where I spent most of my days. I’d just take a stack of books, go outside in the park and enjoy them under the sun. Every day I went to the park, I saw a little man meditating under a tree. He had a strange smile on his face – a smile that showed satisfaction and serenity. Curious as I am, I walked to him one day and asked him:
– Hi! Are you a Buddhist?
– Yes, the little man answered.
– What kind of Buddhist are you, what do you believe in?
– Which God?
He stopped for a moment before continuing:
– I don’t know… how many Gods are there?
– Well, uh, there is only one God, I said
– So, isn’t that a silly question to ask?
– No, not at all. There are thousands of religions and each one claims to represent the real God. So which one is the real one?
– Do you have a mother?
– Of course I have a mother. Isn’t that a silly question to ask?
– No, not really. There are millions of mothers out there. How do you know which one is your real mother?
Interesting, I thought, and answered:
– My mother is my mother because she made me.
– So, how come you don’t know who your father is? the little man said.
I just stood there confused, but felt that I was about to get a higher understanding of something.
– You think you can choose God like you choose a pair of shoes? …You choose the right one and you go straight to heaven, you choose the wrong one and you go straight to hell? …There is no choosing. Nobody has God. No religion, no country, no race, no man has God. God has all of us, the Christians, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the Hindus and even the ones that don’t believe in God at all. We don’t make God, God made us. We don’t choose God, God chose us.
No choice. That was a new way of looking at things. God is my father and I can’t change this no matter if I want to. I asked the final remaining question:
– So how does one relate to God?
– How do you relate to your mother? he said.
– I love her more than anything in this world.
– Well if that’s good enough for your mother I believe it’s good enough for your father too.
– You don’t understand. It is not that simple… What should one think of God and how… how do you believe in God?
– It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you believe about God or if you believe in God. What matters is what God believes about you. The question is not do you believe in God. The question is, does God believe in you?
After the chat I had with the Buddhist, I literally felt mind-blown. The man has just destroyed everything I believed in in less than 5 minutes! I had to go and get some rest.
The next day, I went for more answers to my teacher. Many times I would sit there with him and meditate until he was ready to talk. One day, while I was sitting with my eyes closed, my mind wandered and I saw God. I stood still and looked at him with tears rolling down my face, and he smiled back at me. After a lifetime of searching for him, I finally found God in the last place I thought I would find him. He was always there, I just needed to greet him!