Thursday, January 16, 2014

The faith

Below is a small story by an unknown author. It speaks of the transformation of an agnostic into a believer in an unusual circumstance. Please read on.
"A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend.
 The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often.
One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.
The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body was in the shape of a cross.
 Instead of diving, he knelt down and asked God to come into his life. As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on.
The pool had been drained for repairs."
Normally he would have dived without making much of the shadow that appeared as a cross on the wall. But it was night time with him being alone and none around the pool. it was dark and somber with no lights turned on producing a lonely feeling. It is only when things are different from normal and when you are alone that mind turns towards the unknown god. The shadow of a cross formed by his body with extended arms was enough to bring a sudden transformation in his uneasy mind. He looked in the shadow the presence of God that he has been ignoring all the time. It was the personal repentance at that moment that made him kneel before the shadow and seek God coming into his life.
Many of us cry out to God when we pass through difficult times in our life particularly when we feel helpless, weak, abandoned or overwhelmed by daunting challenges. Even during life threatening circumstances we turn to God. When our ego is less, we are closer to God and once the situation changes for the better the old ego returns stronger we tend to live in our normal ways away from Him.
It was for this reason that Kunti, mother of Pandavas in Mahabharata, prayed to Lord Krishna to keep her always in trouble so that she will remember Him always.
“My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One, who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling.”(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.26).
The utterance of Lord’s name no doubt has potency but is very high only when it is uttered sincerely with total faith in surrender mode. It is the quality of feeling or yearning that determines the potency. Such sincerity comes only when one feels helpless and has no material devices to fall upon.
Such a transformation process or change of mind towards God is preceded by sincere repentance. It is to say to the Lord, “I want to turn towards You and away from the life I’ve lived independently from You. I am sorry for who I’ve been and what I have done and I want to permanently change. I wish to receive your forgiveness for my sins.”
The miraculous appearance of maintenance man and switching on the lights in the nick of time to save the young man’s life is indicative of Lord having forgiven him.


  1. In some articles read, being alone or in solitude does not always relate to the Divine. There are many reasons or cause for solitude, by choice or imposed upon. Solitude with the purpose to connect with the Divine is thus perfectly spiritual.

    The quoted story, I think, points to Divine Intervention from on high. Many incidents in the Bible narrate such events ending in the full conversion and transformation of the person involved. When God calls you, He arranges things to effect the calling. Externally the stage is set for the purpose BUT ... it still waits for the person to agree through the exercise of his own free will. The reason too why conversion sometimes takes too long in some persons. It takes too long for some to make up their minds about God. Yet God waits for man to align his thoughts or free will to His. God is a respecter of man's free will although easily He can impose His wishes on man without further ado.

    You write well, my friend; the post makes one think.
    Have a great day. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. Lovely story and insights, Periappa.

  3. this sets everyone thinking! True in times of distress , we seek god, in other times he is less thought about. Perhaps Kunti was right, it is in surrender to him that we could achieve the elusive bliss which is i believe very difficult o gain.

    in my own experiences, when I am on the edge, totally frustrated and run down, God is his own ways has held my hand and believe he is holding my hand as i write this too!

  4. This sets you thinking! God manifests in his own ways! for one his inspiration to you to write this post!

  5. It is not about God forgiving him. It was God accepting him and allowing him in.
    This was such a beautiful post.

  6. nice story; the only point that stuck in my mind is Kunti's way of remembering the Lord always; it is not difficult to spend a minute in the morning asking God to be with you through the new day, & thanking Him for everything at night. Much like how we wish each other Good Morning & Good Night !

  7. Nice story; the only point that stuck in my mind uncomfortably was Kunti's way of remembering the Lord. It is not difficult to make a habit ofhaving a minute's silent communication to the Lord asking him to be with you through the new day, & thanking him for everything before retiring for the day, much like we would wish others Good morning or Good night !

  8. God always forgives everyone..his ways are strange, sometimes we dont understand but with implicit faith we can always cross anything..

    loved it!

  9. I didn’t know you had polished and again displayed this blog! Good job and nice to be here again.
    Intervention of God happens at the right time in everyone’s life if only we respond to that call!

  10. I somehow don't like the Kunti theory. I feel we can be thankful to him even when are happy, which can be always, for when we think of God and seek his guidance in every aspect of our lives, we would find the guidance and be happy forever. These are all man made theories to bring the fear of God in mankind, nothing else.

  11. The diver's story is beautiful! God is there definitely and will come for our help when needed, if we are sincere to our conscience.