A voice that changed everything . . .
A VOICE WITHIN
By Gordon Hisayasu
"James, James" a voice awakens me. Disorientated, confused, my heart is pounding. The clock glaring in the dark reads 2:18 A.M. Alone, desperate to understand where the voice comes from, I contemplate the reality of the moment.
"Who are you? Where are you?" I cry out.
"I am . . . within you."
The voice is soft and gentle, the words spoken as a whisper, but still my body is trembling. Shaking with disbelief, the sound resonates deep within me. I grab my pillow pulling it over my head in an attempt to muffle the sound. Whatís happening to me?
"Take a deep breath and hold it ", says the voice.
The voice conveys an authority that compels me to surrender to itsí command. Taking a deep breath, I hold it, somehow comforted by my obedience. My eyes are open and I can feel the pounding of my heart. I know Iím not dreaming or talking to myself. Something is here talking to me. As I attempt to sort out whatís happening to me, the lack of oxygen soon brings me to a crisis.
"All that stands between life and death is your next breath."
Gasping, I feel the air filling my depleted lungs.
"Is not life precious?" I hear.
"Are you a creation of my mind?", I ask, still breathing deeply.
"No, I am not a manifestation of your mind. You are now aware of my presence. I was always aware of you. As you start to comprehend what I say you will understand more."
"What do you want?"
"There are things I need you to know."
"Do you know everything?", I challenge, trying to mask the apprehension this situation is causing.
"I know more than you. Your potential to understand is limited. Now, close your eyes".
My mind races in confusion and anxiety. In time, the quiet room and still night calms me.
"Free your senses to capture the moment" The soothing effect of these words are magical.
Eyes closed, concentrating, I soon realize it is not quiet. The environment around me is rich in sounds. I hear air rushing in and out of my lungs. I feel my chest swell with each breath and I am aware of each movement my body makes. I even feel the beat of my heart. Introspective in the cozy warmth of my bed, feeling the cool night air on my face, I am filled with a sense of my own existence. It is amazing to capture all this and feel so alive.
"Open your eyes and turn on your light." the voice startles me back to reality.
"Look at yourself in your mirror. Marvel at the creation of life."
The visions before me are starling. My eyes witness the true reality of life and the world around me. I see my reflection and view the astonishing miracle of a living organism. Likewise, I am enthraled by the beauty of my room, so full of pictures and mundane things of modern design, like TV, stereo, lamps, books, and my trusty computer. So much is hidden without sight. Sight completely changes and enhances the blind concepts of existence. A new reality is revealed which adds perspective of where and who I am.
"The vastness and significance of creation is beyond your grasp. You only see a very small part of the whole. You underestimate God."
Offended, this voice ignores the dedication and efforts I have always made to explore the mysteries of the universe. I have studied many things; like cosmology, theories on life and evolution, genetics, and even attempts to understand the theories of quantum mechanics. "I donít know everything, but I donít think Iím ignorant or blind", I respond defensively.
"The vanity of Man prevents grasping the truth of divinity in creation. Knowledge does not give you wisdom to open your mind and heart to God."
"If you know me then you know I believe in a creator, and Jesus Christ. I am a Christian."
"Yes, I know what you believe, but your beliefs are limited and not wholly formed. I can help you comprehend the wonder of creation."
"God reveals himself to Man by nature, exposing evidence of design. Many elaborate steps were necessary for the existence of the universe, galaxy, solar system, and the world, all of which are created to serve as a home for Man. As more facts are discovered, the evidence is more convincing. When God said "Let there be light", it would be insignificant if not accompanied by the creation of sight. Is it not amazing that sight exists in so many forms on Earth. Even so, recent discoveries that increase your limited sight, like the Hubble telescope, open doors to further enlightenment. Science provides evidence and it is God who guides the developments of science. This is part of Godís plan to reveal his authorship as creator. For this reason Man is given intellect and curiosity."
"I know what you are saying. The unexplainable, extreme complexity of every area I explored gave me assurance of my belief in God. Yet, it is still incomprehensible how God could plan all events of creation, leading up to our world and life, starting from just a "singularity" and a "big bang"? The detail necessary for everything being "just right" is such a stretch of credibility."
"Creation necessitates . . . just right. This means God made everything perfect to make you possible. No errors. No deficiencies. Everything planned. It means taking a singularity, creating an explosion and making a "tree" billions of years later. The evolution of galaxies, stars, supernova for the formation of elements, elements from stardust for the formation of life, life for the evolution of Man, were all anticipated by God. The foolishness of Man is to not honor Godís omnipotence in the truth of the immense complexity of design."
It is astounding to acknowledge God guiding science as a tool for our revelation. I collected data to convince myself of God, never anticipating how clearly Godís supreme intelligence to create "order from chaos" would be displayed. Enlightened by this voice, I feel such gratitude for the incredible privilege of life. In reflection, I think about my unanswered questions of eternal life and salvation. "Is my belief in Christ also short-sighted?, I ask timidly.
"Belief in Jesus is a choice. It is the product of Faith not evidence. Can you imagine that Man is created for this purpose?"
"When I was young I was saved. Struggling with doubts and temptation I gave in to a sinful and selfish life. I lost my way. Is there a way back?"
"I know of your battles and defeats. You lost sight of the beauty of Christ. I was with you but you resisted me. As your heart hardened, you created distance with your cold indifference and self indulgence."
Painfully, I remember how I wouldnít surrender myself for fear of missing out on experiences of the pleasures of life. "It is strange, but I always fought selling out completely to temptation because of some lingering sense of integrity. Was it you who was always pulling at me?", I ask.
"Yes, I was with you. There is something you should now understand. The choices in the short, finite life of a Man determine his destiny. Is not immortality a worthy pursuit?"
"How can I really grasp immortality? I live anticipating my death. I canít envision anything as eternal, not the Universe, not Earth and, especially, not life. Death seems so final."
"As God created life, surely everlasting life is possible. You fear death because you value your finite life on earth. If you redefine life as eternal you are free of that fear. Death liberates your soul to immortality. Your mind cannot truly imagine eternity. You are imprisoned by time. Given eternity, how pertinent is a second?, a year?, a billion years? Your life on Earth is relatively less than a blink of an eye. Life measured as eternal is truly precious. It is the gift of salvation that opens the door to eternity."
"I donít think I really understand salvation. The world is corrupt and immoral. It is hard to comprehend being saved. Are we being saved from sin or saved from death?"
"Salvation is from both sin and death and is a product of Godís love. A measure of love is when you miss someone, like those you love who have died. Love requires companionship. This is the true significance of the creation on Man. Godís plan of salvation is for us to be with Him. You are given an everlasting spiritual existence with God. The grace of God is the gift of salvation through his son, Jesus Christ. This is His covenant with Man."
"I know who you are. You are the Holy Spirit." Neglecting my Faith, I had forgotten the promise of the Spirit of God. This night has given me inspiration and taught me the Glory of God. I am truly blessed and healed.
"I have been with you since you first believed. Beloved James, this night you have died."
Stunned, I wonder what will happen next. I am so full of enthusiasm. I have wasted much of my life. "Can I atone for all I have done?", I plea, as my body is engulfed by a brilliant light and I am sweep into an unimaginable realm. A sense of peace and comfort fills me as I view the presence of the Holy Spirit.
"You canít, but come with me for by Godís grace you have a place with Him. You will live in the ultimate of His creation."