Living in a dream world
What particularly stands out in the life of Jesus is that not only did he preach salvation as a sort of end game in the lives of his disciples, but he introduced them to a new world. This was the main thrust of his mission, and it is this which brought him into conflict with the religious leaders of his day. They were well in control and quite comfortable with society and their way of life. Every fabric of their lives seemed to be well oiled, and here was this impostor suggesting that they were living in a dream world, a world far from the true reality of life.
The world into which Jesus came was one which promised great things. People had only to follow the rules, take their assigned places in society and all would be well. Of course, there must have been questions for which they had no answers, but they solved them merely by pretending that they did not exist.
Several centuries later, in spite of outstanding development in many fields of human endeavour, in many ways, the world has not changed essentially. The age old problems have not been answered. And who cares?
They teach us to work for success, but do not teach us how to cope with failure. They teach us to prepare brilliant plans, but do not indicate to us how to cope with disaster. They teach us how to make friends and avoid making enemies, but they do not teach us how to turn enemies into friends. Men and women are taught how to prepare for a happy marriage, but little is done to teach them how to cope with an unhappy marriage. People are led to work for gain, but little is done to teach them how to cope if things do not go well. However, the experience is that often things do not occur according to expectations, and our lives are filled with disappointments. What then must be done? Give in to despair?
Throughout the ages, the value of education has been emphasized. In every sphere of human endeavour, tremendous strides have been made. However, it would seem that we have not made much progress in preparing people for living. We do not seem to have developed a life support system for people, when finally all the prescriptions for a well-balanced life fail. What hope then do we extend to people when all our brilliant promises with which we inspire them come to nothing?
Going through the educational process should not merely prepare us for employment but should also give us self-esteem, a perception of who we are, and what we are called to be.
We live in a world which makes heavy demands on our emotional resources. In the face of this challenge, we need a firm and resilient moral fibre. The highway of the world is cluttered with the wrecks of men and women who did not make it. The challenging forces of life, being too much for them, they fell victim to severe depression, drugs, alcohol, or just copped out of society as if they had never existed.
A cursory look around the world will reveal that many people are dying for want of inspiration. The basic problem is not the lack of knowledge, but the lack of a motive to embrace life in all its realities. Among such people are to be found professionals, men and women who have achieved intellectual heights in particular fields, yet could not withstand the pressures of human living. Not all their technological could save them!
So we need to be introduced to the world of reality. This has many implications for us. We need to take strong measures to build up our human fabric, which has both a material and a spiritual dimension. We need to develop a firm spirit of discipline and a sense of self- sacrifice. This world calls for a struggle. That struggle is not, first of all, outside of us but deep within our hearts.