Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Hallway

Clark had no idea how he got there, or how long he had been there. It felt that only five minutes have passed, but it also felt like he has been wondering the place for eternity. Golden pillars stood on both his sides, reaching up to the highest point of the sky, disappearing into the clouds. A marble floor, checkered in black and white, laid in between the assembly of pillars. The pillars went on and on, following the marble floor. Clark imagined this to be some sort of hallway, but where does the hallway lead to?

Clark continued walking, unsure of what to do. The sun shone brightly on the hallway, casting shadows of right pillars unto the floor, and although Clark could see the brightness of the sun, it did not gave him warmth as how sunlight are supposed to. Instead he felt a warmth that does not just touch your skin, but instead went deep inside you as well. It was a soothing sun, rather than a burning sun. And no matter how long Clark walked, the sunlight continued to shine, the same intensity, the same brightness.

As Clark passed yet another similarly identical pillar, he suddenly felt that there was something that he wanted to say. There was reason that brought him here in the first place. He wanted to ask a question. A question that was forgotten it amidst the serenity and peacefulness of the place, one that he suddenly felt was not as important anymore. But yet he felt that he was brought to the place itself for that sole reason.


"Hello?" he heard himself calling out, unsure of who is he calling to, or whether will there be a reply.

"Hello, Clark," came a reply, and for a moment, Clark thought that it was his own voice replying to himself. The voice seemed to be coming from his own head, and felt as if he was willing himself to give a reply. But at the same time, the voice echoed around him, filling the air as it spoke. 

"Where am I?" Clark began to ask, and before he received a reply, proceeded to ask another question, "Who are you?"

"Aren't you here to ask another question instead of those two?" the voice asked curiously, and the memories suddenly came flooding back. 

"Why is it so hard to wait, oh lord?" Clark found himself asking, even though he was being unsure who the voice really was. The words left him without much effort. After all, he had been asking himself the same question for weeks, even months already. "Why must I bluff myself with the lame excuse that I must wait for something good to happen, be it a good job, success or even a partner in life?"

"Because it teaches you to trust in me," the voice went, "and because it teaches you the value of patience."

Clark was not satisfied with the answer, because it was an answer that he had always used to try and calm himself, to no avail. Before he could protest however, the voice continued.

"I wish there was an easy answer to this, Clark, but I supposed that there really isn't. I know you're thinking that why it isn't fair that some people are constantly getting what they want, fast, while you are left with nothing, tried as you might. But Clark, that may be what you see, but rarely it would be the same as what I am seeing," the voice continued. 

"Everyone's story is different, Clark, and I know that as unfair that it may seem to you right now, you just have to trust that the way your story will turn out will be just alright. Every story have their own different perfect ending, and what you merely have to do is to just have faith in how your story is written, despite how badly it may compare to the story of the people around you. Because ultimately, the basis of comparison that you are using to judge your story is of human creation, which is subjective and never absolute," the voice tried to reassure Clark. 

"But how would I know that it will be all worth it in end? How do I know everything won't end off worse in the end?" Clark objected. It all sounded too good to be true to him, after all.

"I know it may sound too idealistic and optimistic for you to hope for, but all I am asking is a little bit of faith. What you are experiencing now is never a taste of the future, in fact there is simply no way you can ever predict the future," the voice continued, ever patient.

"Your generation lives in a time where all your needs are satisfied almost immediately, texts get returned immediately, when one has to wait months for a letter to arrive in the past. Your generation has lost the value of waiting Clark, and all you need to do is to wait a little longer, without going into panic mode. I know situation may seem bleak sometimes, at least to you, but more often that not, the viewpoint that you have at the moment is limited, finite. You can only process information that is happening as of right now, accurate to perhaps a few seconds, give and take. You cannot even see past one hour into your future, so what more days, weeks or even months? There just simply no way you can do anything about the future." Clark rubbed his feet against the floor when he heard this, embarrassed at overlooking such a simple fact of life.

"Worry only about today Clarke, and let tomorrow's worries take care of itself. Have patience." A strange feeling of engulfed Clarke as the voice finished the last sentence, and it made Clarke wanted to cry. A cry not of sadness, but rather of tiredness. Patience. Why such a tough task? Why a test that he would not even know if it will be worth it in the end?

But Clarke knew that impulsiveness would get him nowhere. That the more desperate you try, the worse the effect might be. Sometimes, all you can do is to sit back, and hope for the best from up above. That life will be kind to you. That is all you can do. And never to lose that hope. Clark found himself smiling, one of hopeful anticipation.

Clark heard the sound of key turning behind him, followed by the slow creak of doors rubbing against their hinges. Slowly but surely, he began to feel a force tugging him backwards, building up in intensity as time went by. The wind began to pick up speed around him, and the mist that was hovering innocently moments ago were heading towards the direction behind him. His time here was coming to an end.

"Wait!" Clark called out. "How do I know if you are who I really think you are? How do I know that you're just not a manifestation of my own imagination, that you are indeed real? How do I know that this is merely not a dream, or a reflection of what I wanted to hear?"

Clark could feel his feet slowly sliding backwards now, the force that was pulling him growing stronger and stronger. It was like a black hole opened behind him. He resisted the urge to look behind and continued to focus his gaze at the end of the never-ending hallway.

"I suppose that is up to what you want to believe," came the voice back. Even though the wind now was violently whipping around Clark, the quality of the voice itself did not change, like how one would expect someone's voice to be distorted when one tries to speak in the middle of the storm. Clark felt that the voice was part of the wind itself. 

"After all, that's where faith should come in right?" Clark heard the voice said, and felt as if the speaker behind the voice winked at him, before finally getting sucked out from the hallway, through an archway taller than anything that he had seen before, and ultimately back to where he came from.

*****

I have no idea why am I writing this, but somehow something at today's bible study group triggered this internal debate that I have been having inside of me. It's of course less dramatic, but the main points are the same. Sometimes waiting can be just so tough, that we may sometimes need multiple, even countless reminders for it.





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