The Israelites said to Moses, “We are perishing; we are lost; all of us are lost! Everyone who approaches the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all to perish?” -Numbers 17:12&13
Dear members and friends,
A long time ago, I read a story about a woman who desired to become a celestial being because her life was filled with misery after misery. At the time, all that was left for her was her little child, who was severely ill. But after a long search and difficult journey, she finally found the celestial being. Upon listening to the woman, the being said, “I am moved by your sad story, so I will give you an opportunity. However, to become a celestial being you must give up all that is human.” “Yes,” the woman shouted out, “that is exactly what I desire.” Looking at her ill child, the celestial being suggested, “If you desire, I will cure your child instead and give you gifts enough to start a new life.” But the woman insisted, thinking in her mind, ‘When I become a celestial being, I could cure my child and get all the treasures that I desire.’ So the being guided the woman through the process of becoming a celestial being and the woman was challenged to give up all the things that she possessed as a human being. “Now, here is the very last one to give up,” said the celestial being, “You should give up your love for your child.” She wanted to reply by saying, “I give up,” but instead she said, “I cannot!” The celestial being looked down on her with pity, and said, “Woman, this is the last thing you must do in order to become a celestial being. Try again to give up.” However, the woman replied, “That is everything in my heart! If I give it up, I will stop existing! You deceived me. You are trying to destroy my existence.” At this, the celestial being shook their head and left the woman. Then, the woman suddenly realized that everything happened in a dream-like fantasy. Now she was left alone on a dark and windy mountain with her severely ill child. The woman shouted, “You are such a cruel and merciless being! You do not deserve the respect of humans!”
My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a time of contemplation on what we desire and what we truly want. Then, let us pray to God for a light of wisdom in discerning what we need.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee