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Worlds so close, yet so far!

As I was switching between train lines going back home from my part-time job of doing an English-based program for preschoolers, I saw something that I saw so many times - a Buddhist priest in full clothing, chanting and ringing a bell, holding out a tray so that people can donate to him. I've always imagined them turning into Raiden from Mortal Kombat and go flying through the air stabbing people in their stomachs with their pointed hats...never happened. But, it's nothing so out of the ordinary in Japan. What I never realized is that the corner he was standing at was the corner of a big pachinko (Japanese slot machine) plaza - to me that was so interesting.

On one hand, one person is denying his desires by living humbly and simply, having to ask for money to get by in life. He is standing out in a busy street shopping mall, ringing a bell, dressed way differently from others, chanting words that not even they understand, and receiving donations from people passing by.

Then on the other hand you have these pachinko players - waiting in line from early in the morning just to get in first and hopefully win some money. Many of these people, from what I hear from people that used to play pachinko, are quite addicted. Addiction to the thrill, the chance, the noise, the atmosphere...totally feeding their desires.

So, while one is denying his desires to attain enlightenment, and another is going after it whole heartedly. In the picture I posted above, you can also see a business man walking past, minding his own business, doing what he needs to do for whatever purpose he is doing it for. Then there is me, the one took the picture, also doing what I need to do, but my motivation is different from the others - I try to kill one part of my desire so that the other part may live freely, which is my desire to worship and love God with my life and my entire self.

Out of the four, who is walking the better path? The right path? Is there a right path? if there is, how do you know it? Are there many right paths? Or is there only one?

I'm sure that all four of us in the picture would have different answers. I'm putting all my trust in that there is only one real way, this way is also better than any other way, this "way" is a person. His name is JESUS. You can learn about him at GC if you come. We talk about him all the time!


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