By Swami Chinmayananda
Dr. Stephen, a well-known doctor, was once on his way to an important medical conference in another city where-in he was going to be given an award for medical research he had recently done. He had worked long and hard on his research and felt his efforts deserved the award he was about to obtain.
However, two hours after the plane took off, the pilot announced that there was a problem with the plane and that they were going to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport. Afraid that he wouldn’t make it in time for the conference, Dr. Steven immediately went to the help desk as soon as the plane landed and explained to the woman at the desk that he was expected to be at a very important conference and that he needed to know the immediate next flight to his destination for another ten hours;but suggested he rent a car and drive down to the city as it was only four hours
Having no other choice, he agreed to the idea despite his hatred for driving long distances. Dr. Stephen rented a car and started his journey. However, soon after he left, the weather suddenly changed and a heavy storm began. The pouring rain made it very difficult for him to see and he missed a turn he was supposed to take.
After two hours of driving, he was convinced he was lost. Driving in the heavy rain on a deserted road, feeling hungry and tired, he frantically began to look for any of civilization. After some time, he finally came across a small tattered house. Desperate, he got out of the car and knocked on the door. An old woman opened the door for him. He explained his situation and asked if he could use her telephone. She told him that she didn’t have a phone or electricity but that he was welcome to come in for some food and something warm to drink, as he had completely lost his way and that it would
take him some time to get back on the right road.
Hungey, wet and exhausted, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walked in . The woman told him to help himself to some food and hot tea on the table and excused herself to finish her prayers. Sitting on the table sipping tea, the doctor watched the woman in the dim light of candles as she prayed next to what appeared to be a baby cradle. Every time she
finished a prayer, she would start a another one.
Feeling that the woman might be in need of help, the doctor began to speak as soon as she finished her prayers and told her that he hoped God would answer her prayers. He then asked her if there was something she needed that he could help her with.
She said the child in the cradle was her grandson and that the child had a very rare neurological disease. She said that she has been told that there was a particular doctor who specialized in this type of disease that her grandson had, but there was no way for her to get to this doctor as he lived far from her, so she was spending her days and nights praying to God to find a way to get to Dr. Stephen – the doctor who could treat her grandson.
Upon hearing her words, tears began to flow down the doctor’s cheeks and he said ” God is great! There was a malfuction in the plane, a thunderstorm hit, and I lost my way; and all of this happened because God did not just answer your prayer by helping you find a way to get to Dr. Stephen, but He brought him to your house. I am Dr. Stephen.”
Why do the walls of the hospitals hear more sincere prayers than the walls of temples or churches?
Why do airports see more affectionate kisses than wedding halls?
The human mind has a very bad habit of taking things for granted. When we lose a thing we realize it’s value.
Nothing belongs to us. Whatever we have are gifts from God. These gifts are given so that we may grow in our love and gratitude for God. But when things are taken for granted, the possibility of developing a loving relationship with God is shut off.
The shocks and knocks in life is a gentle reminder – that minus God we are nothing, that we have nothing, that we know nothing and that we can do nothing!
Such a humble soul, who has realized his insignificance becomes fit to enter the kingdom of God, where he is made aware – that HE is everything.