It’s funny how, as a child, I always thought that the Pilgrim’s Progress was part of the Holy Bible. It started one afternoon where I was watching television, and they were airing an animated film about it. Around the middle of the movie, the electricity went out.
By the time the power went back on, another show had already began. I was chagrined. I had to know the ending!
And so the next time we visited the local Christian bookstore, it was the first book I looked for. I particularly grabbed the illustrated copy – or should I say, comic version. For several days, I read it over and over again, enjoying the fantastic imagery drawn across the pages, my 5-year old mind vividly recreating the surreal sceneries inside my own world. As most books and literature do eventually, I grew tired of the drawings. I never knew what happened to the book afterwards, nor can I recall the exact story. That goes pretty well with almost all my other childhood memories.
It was not until a few years later that I remembered that book. I was staying at our old home, now dusty and desolate. There was nothing much to do, after all, as I spent my days in solitude in the literally empty living room. Amusingly, I was the only living being in it. And I needed something to entertain myself, or maybe just to remind myself that I exist at all.
I remembered the story. But I only had the Bible. Wasn’t the Pilgrim’s Progress about the Bible? This line of thought, drew my curiosity. I had to confirm. What progressed was a series of days of a childish quest for a story – and despite failing in my attempt to locate where the Pilgrim’s Progress was to be found in the Holy Bible, I unearthed more interesting stories that preoccupied my loneliness. But none had grabbed me more than the Book of Revelations (and yeah, I got tired of reading it afterwards, so I turned to the history books later on and got enamored with 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, etc. Beats the Arthurian romances, hands down).
I felt shaken awake from a long dream when someone suddenly sent me a message about the end times. I don’t consider myself a skeptic, nor do I think of myself as a fanatic. Let’s just say that I got tired of all the information. I enjoyed the book of Revelations because it made my imagination soar, plain and simple. And yet, here I am confronting myself about it – or maybe I already did, subconsciously, when I came up with the Extreme Calamity Theory I whimsically wrote about after Ondoy…
Do I really believe the end times? Or am I just afraid to face it?
Last night, I forced myself to stay up late until I actually finished re-reading the ancient book.
And remembered the fear. Not of the end of the world, because the Book of Revelation never felt scary for me. It was a book of hope, a book of promise… a book of something wonderful that will happen after all these troubles have passed.
No, what scared me was eternity. Amusingly, what I felt was fear that I would get bored of living the rest of infinity doing the same thing, reading the same stuff, and living the same way.
It was a big lie.
The book of Revelation did not only reveal what will surely come to pass in the future, it also revealed what was hidden in my heart for so long. Sure, the terrible accounts of God’s wrath described there are truly worrisome. But there was a peace that only those who has faith can feel, a peace that amidst all such earthly pains, God exists. God cares. And God has a bigger plan, a bigger idea, and a bigger story than I can ever imagine.
So now I’ve re-read the spoiler script. Now, Lord – I’m ready again for the role I need to play.