Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year

Here is a post I wrote on facebook last year, as a reflection on the new year. RIP to all those who died that night, as well as all those thereafter, in the gory year of 2011. You are finally home.

This life.

Last night, I stood in church singing Christmas Advent praises, bringing my mind to the thought of the Eternal, the night after the church bombing in Egypt on New Year's. Right before I went to church, my father showed me a picture of some of those who were killed that night. I was surprised to see many of them looking younger than me, at 18. While I stood in church, I carried my five month old niece. Carrying my baby niece and remembering the young new martyrs this New Year's night, a strange sense of understanding overcame me.

One must pass through a stage of infancy before one can even function in the world, where one learns what it is to be human; a time that is actually filled with suffering--crying because of a diaper rash, crying because one is bitterly hungry, crying because one wants to go to sleep but just doesn't know how yet. A time of which we will eventually remember nothing. Some kids are evidently geniuses from their very infancy, progressing through the stages of learning much faster than the usual for their age. Others progress at much slower rates, sometimes reaching the understanding of a five year old when they are physically in their twenties. Everyone progresses through different stages at different rates. But all are equal.

This life is simply a stage of infancy, that we will not even remember as adults. Our real life comes when we die in the body and live in the Eternity for which we have prepared ourselves. In this life, we hardly gain a glimpse of the Infinite One, but in our Real Life, we will sit with Him, on our thrones next to Him.

I realize that these young martyrs are simply child geniuses. They have progressed through this infancy at a mind-blowing rate, and have left to enter their Adulthood, to form their real memories, to acquire the True Knowledge. Me, I am a very slow child. I cannot yet enter my Adulthood because I am only an infant in every but the physical sense of the word. I am just like Juliana, my little baby niece, drinking milk from a bottle, at most babbling unintelligible words, getting cranky at night. Yes, getting cranky when the inevitable dark nights of life come, instead of accepting them. I am still spiritually immature, I must still be nurtured, learn, understand, and misunderstand, over and over, because otherwise I would not survive in the Real World. If I do not endure this struggle, instead of partaking of the joys of the Real World--of Heaven--it would simply be suffering, because I would be too weak to survive on my own. You don't take an infant out of the house in the first couple months of her life, and much less out into the Kingdom. I would see the Real One, but not understand. The fact that I am still alive is evidence that I am not yet ready to become an Adult.

Fr. Bishoy said to look at the numbers. Out of the huge church in Alexandria, only 26 people were ready. The real tragedy is not that 26 people have died, but that only 26 people have died. Look at what happened in Baghdad last November, where the whole church was massacred. Everyone in the entire church was obedient and were prepared to enter the True Life. Yet this New Year, only 26 out of hundreds were prepared. And what about our churches in America? Have we even begun to prepare? Have we even been born into our infancy?

This year, I do not want to remain an infant any longer. I want to grow up.

This life is not Real.

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