Last weekend I took an impromptu trip to Ipoh, Perak with my close friend, Sarah & Sha Roose. My little brother tagged along too, amidst copping me for RM 20 to purchase Kinder Bueno chocolates, sandwiches, and Twisties, grr.
After a slow and steady 2 hours drive to Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur (most of time which I dozed off at the back and woke up just in time to see "Welcome to Ipoh" signs), we finally arrived and proceeded to look for FOOOOOOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD.
Prawns, prawns, and more glorious prawns. We're the prawn freaks. The power of prawn love runs deep into our veins.
The gorgeous temples built into the limestone caves we saw in Ipoh.
We were in for barely 5 minutes before the security guard came and shooed us away. Guess the temple closes early on Saturdays :(
I know many people question organized religions, but no matter what beliefs or faiths you have, I think it should be respected. It doesn't matter if you believe in 1, 2, 4, 8 Gods, seven steps to heaven, reincarnation, or karma; your beliefs are your blankets in life that guides you on your everyday behavior and attitude. Everybody has their own believes that they are entitled to. Even atheists believe in the non-existence of God. I am equally in awe of entering a Buddhist temple, as would I be entering a mosque or any other place of worship. These are people's dedication to their beliefs into building every foundation, rock, and statues for all these places.
But then there are those who take to their own misinterpretation of the religion, either through forms of bigotry or overzealousness. Those are the kind of people who give their own brand of organized religions a bad name. Not all Christian priests sodomizes little boys in churches. Similarly, how not all Muslims practice the killing of innocent women and children in the name of God. Not all Jews are responsible for the murders of Palestinians.
In the end, it doesn't boil down to organized religions, it just boils down to what you perceive the meaning of life is. For me, life is too fleeting to be "all there is". There's the question of "is this it?" I do believe in the afterlife, that we will somehow live in a place far more remarkable and magnificent than the beauties of the world, henceforth dubbed "syurga" or "heaven" by many. I believe that our actions on earth will be judged by Him on the day of judgment.
I believe in Qada and Qadar, which is the concept of divine destiny by God. That is to say, everything in our lives have been predetermined by God before we were born. God alone knows when we were meant to born, who are our life partner(s) will be, and when our date of death will be. But it is up to us to determine how we live our life. Here's an excerpt from Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons"-
Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.'
'I understand the concept. It's just . . . there seems to be a contradiction.'
'Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness . . .'
'Exactly!' Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. 'Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?'
The camerlengo frowned. 'Would He?'
Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask? 'Well . . . if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.'
'Do you have children, Lieutenant?'
Chartrand flushed. 'No, signore.'
'Imagine you had an eight-year-old son . . . would you love him?'
'Would you let him skateboard?'
Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. 'Yeah, I guess,' Chartrand said. 'Sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful.'
'So as this child's father knee, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?'
'I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.'
'But what if he fell and skinned his?'
'He would learn to be more careful.'
The camerlengo smiled. 'So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?'
'Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.'
The camerlengo nodded. 'Exactly.”We have the destination, but we control our fates our our journey. But we should respect all who chooses to make their journeys in their own ways. In the end, we all end up as dusts and bones, and what we leave behind are the changes we make in our own world.