Dominic is an ambitious young man. He “belongs” to the modern world that was the irony in his name, ‘Dominic’ meaning ‘belong to the Lord’. His parents too were ambitious people who instilled in his mind a desire to excel. His father was a self-made successful business man and was a devote Christian. He wanted his son Dominic to be more educated and more successful and more prominent than himself; a force to reckon with.
When Dominic was only 8 or 9 years old he hammered him with the thought of being successful and ambitious. Coupled with his love for his dad Dominic took every word of his dad a truth and the only way to succeed in life. Though he picked his idea of being successful from his dad he never learnt the importance of God in this success. As he grew into his adolescence and progressed in his education the thought of success intensified. The thought of God only diminished as he grew intellectually and ambitiously.
Now having succeeded his secondary school education successfully he unconsciously concluded in his mind that God would only be a shadow in his life. Whenever the occasions of prayer and religious celebrations were spoken or taking place he looked at them as irrelevant to his plan of success, he was “the Master of his own destiny”. Often he would repeat in his mind, ‘I can do it myself’, ‘why should I waste time in prayer?’
This trend in his life is further confirmed by irrelevant preaching he would occasionally hear from the local clergy and his failure to get convincing reasons for God’s belief. The thought of poor people getting to heaven having lived a miserable life on earth was totally irrational. ‘How could one hope for the intangible having failed to get the tangible’. It was utter non-sense. The irrelevant (often times boring) sermons reminded him of only one thing, ‘he had to escape the misery they asked him to embrace’.
Whenever the thought of Church arose in his mind, he found it too simplistic for the modern man. The whole idea of “deity” out there taking care of humanity and the powerless Church being guardian of moral living in the society is only a laughable subject for his “refined” thinking. It seemed absurd to him that the prayer said to this deity could make any change to the rational human being’s destiny.
The idea of being self-made as an ultimate end eventually leads Dominic to be self-professed. This attitude of being self-professed has made him indifferent to God and believe only in his ability and what he can make out of himself. This alienation from God also unconsciously alienates him from his immediate environment. This self-centered attitude has only led him to view the people who surround him as a means to his ends. They can be manipulated as long as the result is in his favour.
Dominic’s obsession is to get out of this rat-race is a mad-rush. His mind is full of I – Me – Myself. The rest of the world is competing against him and he needs to keep up to the bar. This same world will measure his success by how much fame and fortune he will acquire. If he were to fail one cannot imagine what would happen to his world.
Now that he has nothing to believe or hope for he needs something to fill the vacuum he himself created. The constant search for “this thing” is very tiring, person-consuming, life-consuming and peace-consuming. If he fails (and chances are that he will) this vacuum will lead to depression and at its worse self-immolation and burn-out. Figuratively he is a candle in the wind!
Now how shall we veil this candle in the wind? This is a question of making God and Godly Matters (spirituality) appeal to the modern sophisticated mind. It should appeal to them in a language that they understand. Providing simplistic theology does more harm than good. This mind caves for understanding and any attempt to reach to it should meet this need.
However intelligent this theology may look, if it is not practical and appeal to the needs of the modern searching person, it is like chasing the wind. The final answer is that of St. Paul, the greatest of them is love. Heart understands things when mind fails to explain.