One day a great sage from another land visited the Master and they had a long discourse about God, theology, ethics and such other esoteric subjects. I sat quietly and hearkened.
Who is your God? The great sage asked
Who is yours?
He is the omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent and omnipresent God.
How do you serve your God? Master asked
I pray to him, I respect him praise him and I never forget him.
And Master replied: my God is his creation, if he is there and he has indeed created, then I prefer to serve his creation since that is the best way to pray, to take care of those that he created. My God is nature: the animals, the trees, this river, the mountains and I serve them and I love them.
But what about your belief, who do you believe in? The sage asked.
I believe in his creation, I believe all that is around me with whom I interact.
Let’s go for a walk my friend, Master said, it’s a beautiful day. He invited the Sage to go with him. I followed from a discrete distance.
The path was beautiful, winding through fragrant flower fields with birds twittering from the trees. What you see around you? Master asked.
I see my God, he is everywhere, he sees everything; I see God in all.
We continued walking for long, the sage was tiring out though Master was chirpy and energetic as ever. He was used to climbing and hard life. So again he asked, ‘now what do you see?’ ‘I feel tired and exhausted and I am hungry,’ the sage replied. ‘I want to sit down beneath that tree with the shade.’ He dropped down under the tree and Master asked, ‘what do you see now my friend.’ ‘I see this tree and it is really nice and I am thankful that it is here. Otherwise I would have died of exhaustion and the sun. Now I wish it also had some fruits I could eat. I am so hungry.’
After some rest we walked on and found a plum tree full of juicy red plums. The sage ate his heart’s fill and Master asked; what do you see now, how do you feel? Oh I see this beautiful plum and I feel so great eating it, it’s so sweet and nourishing and filling.
So you see my friend, I serve his creation through whom he interacts with us, I take care of the tree and this plum tree, the flowers and the river since that is the way I communicate with him. I believe in him because I can see his creation, it is for them that I believe there is a creator, not the other way round.
Then we walked on and soon it became dark and we were in deep forest. We couldn’t see the path anymore and wild hungry animals were growling around. Master and I knew the path well but the sage got scared. Oh we are lost; some animal is surely going to eat us. We should have gone back well before. He started saying.
But my friend, the Master spoke kindly like he was talking to a child, don’t you see and find your God now; in this darkness and moment of despair isn’t he watching you, doesn’t he know that you are in trouble and will he not come to your rescue because you have always worshipped him and sang his praises. Why are you afraid now if you believe in your God?
I can only think of my life and getting back safely, I can’t think of God or in his powers. The sage replied shivering.
You abandon your God and your belief right at the moment when you need it, the test of your belief is not in the good times but in moments of crisis but how can you believe and trust in something that is abstract, which you or no one has ever seen or touched. So my friend I believe in his creation, in nature and in this forest with all its animals. I love them, I take care of them and I believe that now they will take care of us.
Don’t worry my friend, moon will be up shortly and we will get back safely very soon.