How we love the preacher on TV who tells us that God intended each of us to be rich and prosperous and he will lead us to that God! He preaches what we want to hear; that religion which means the worshipping of God in a church, temple or masjid will make our bank balances grow fatter, and our work or businesses prosper.
And that’s what many of us are religious for: To get the best car in the world, maybe own a jet plane or have huge mansions.
Come with me to the homes of the rich and famous.
Oh, how splendid the sprawling acres of garden! How magnificent the building! But hush there is a wailing I hear. Enter on tiptoe, invisible, lest guards and fierce dogs get us before we step in.
There she is, wailing! She, the wife of the industrialist. Why does she cry, with gilded mirrors and a fancy golden bathtub peeping out of her diamond knobbed bathroom? Why, with her own Mercedes outside? She looks at herself in the mirror, and sees beyond costly cosmetics, her ageing skin, and cries out for life which is slowly ebbing away. With all the money in the world, she walks into a ballroom and knows she cannot stop the ageing process, or depression that follows, as younger women get the look, but she only snickers from those that see make-up holding skin together!
And in another room, her husband, stares at the phone, shakes his head after a call from his doctor, “You have cancer!” Suddenly death grins at him, and he knows with all his wealth, he will only be able to buy an extension on a costly ventilator.
Let us leave those anguished billionaires and walk down to yonder village, where an old woman gathers wood for her kitchen fire. She hums a tune, and a happy one, “What makes you happy amma?” I ask, “you are nearly dancing, though your back is bent, your legs arthritic!”
“My son,” she says, laying aside twigs she has collected. “At eighty-two I cannot dance and prance like before,” And there is a twinkle in her eye as she carries on, “Though I wouldn’t mind a dance with my hubby who left me last year!”
“Left you?” I ask.
“Yes, to be with his God!” she whispers, “And soon I will be there too!”
“But does a life beyond make you happy today?” ask her, curious.
“Not just a life beyond,” she says, “But a life right here, where the same God, in me, makes me want to dance and sing like a young girl!”
I hear the wailing in the mansion from the poor who live therein, then smile at the happy, bent, old billionaire woman with a God within..!
Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at email@example.com