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TITLE: A Lesson Well Learned
By Lyn Ruth
11/04/08
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The story is a discussion between two colleagues - a believer and an aetheist - about the reality of God's existence. The characters are fictitious but the dialogue actually happened.
Rebecca always goes to work an hour earlier than the regular time. She has committed herself to having her quiet time at 7 o'clock in the morning before any of her colleagues arrive. She enjoys reading the Bible, praying, and singing to the Lord. This has been her devotion for almost 10 years now, from that unforgettable moment when God healed her from breast cancer.

Aside from her quiet time, Rebecca is a very active church attendee. She participates in a number of ministries but she is especially involved with the compassion ministry. It is easy for her to identify with the pains and sufferings of others.

One morning, while Rebecca sang her favorite Christian song, a voice came from behind her. It was Allen from the Engineering Department. "You're talking to your God again, Rebecca?", Allen mockingly laughed at her. Allen was an aetheist. "I need this moment alone, Allen. Please respect my quiet time.", Rebecca kept her cool.

Allen did not seem to hear her. He continued. "There is no God, Rebecca. What you are doing is useless. There is no reward, no punishment. When we die, that's the end of it. Our bodies will decompose and then we disappear."

Rebecca looked straight at Allen. "If God does not exist, Allen, then I won't be punished for reading the Bible and for believing in Him. Is that what you're trying to say?"

Allen laughed even louder. "Of course. And you have no reward either. So being a Christian is futile."

Rebecca was jubilant. "That's good news then!"

Allen was puzzled. "What do you mean that it's good news?"

Rebecca spoke slowly. "You said that there is neither reward nor punishment for my belief. Therefore, I can continue being a Christian with no fear in my heart. But, Allen, what if there is a God... and I'm telling you that there IS a GOD... I am very sure that I will receive my eternal reward in heaven and that I will definitely avoid the punishment of hell. Am I correct?"

Allen was a bit hesitant to answer. "Maybe... maybe if your God really exists, you will have your reward."

Rebecca grinned. "I'm relieved that you finally agree. Then you will agree, too, that if God really exists, people like you will be punished."

Allen frowned and could not speak.

Rebecca went on with gentleness in her voice. "Can you see, Allen, who has the advantage here? I will neither be punished nor rewarded if I believe what you believe. So that means, I have nothing to fear. On the other hand, I will be rewarded and you will be punished if my belief is true.That means, you have a lot to fear. Now, which is better, Allen, to believe or not to believe that God exists? Allen, God is real and He loves you unconditionally."

Allen still could not speak. But his eyes had softened and his face had stopped smiling. In fact, he was already on the verge of tears.
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