One night a man had a dream. In his dream he was transported to a different place than what he had ever known.
The first thing he saw was his father; who had passed away a few years ago. Followed by his mother, who had also recently passed. They were young and very happy. “This is the way I always wanted to remember them”, he thought instead of the way he remembered them now. Old, frail, and bitter. He noticed several close family members were nearby. Old friends that he hadn’t seen in years smiled as they passed by, then going on about their business. Then he saw his wife. She was in her wedding dress. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever laid his eyes on. He kissed her gently on the lips. An excitement filled his soul, he had missed that feeling. Seconds later, two children poked their heads out from behind her. They were their kids. Their eyes were full of love and excitement as they ran to hug him, laughing; the sound filled the air with love. The hug felt so wonderful; the most comforting thing he could imagine. All the people he cared about were there. Everybody was in the happiest stages of their lives. It was all surreal. Everyone was happy, content, and doing the things they loved to do.
He looked around him. He was outside. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and happy people were milling around doing various activities. It appeared to be early fall, by the look of the trees and the cool air. This was his favorite time of year. He breathed in deeply and smiled. “I’ve never been in a more perfect place.” He hadn’t felt peace like this in a very long time.
He spent the next several minutes just looking around. Noticing all of the sights, sounds, and other wonders that touched his senses. Everything was perfect and new. If he wanted to eat, he simply let someone know and a delicious meal would appear. In fact, if he needed anything, it was there, always surrounded by the love and comfort of those dear to him.
Later, he felt like exploring this new world. He wondered around in euphoria. Everything seemed new and exciting. He covered a long distance in a short amount of time. He investigated how things worked in his new surroundings and made interesting discoveries. He shared his excitement with those close to him. He had an unquenchable thirst for the knowledge and understanding of everything around him. Each new endeavor brought him immeasurable joy. He discovered fascinating places and wonderful people. Some of these people he knew, some he didn’t, all became friends.
After a while of this, he wanted his family. He cherished their company. He talked to his wife and listened to her. He treasured every moment. He took her to the places he had discovered and she showed him new ones. He explained the world as he saw it and she showed him different points of view. They took long walks together and sat by each others side. He gazed into her eyes and he made love to her. He played with their children and taught them the things he knew. They showed him unconditional love and he could feel it, deep inside himself. He spent a long time in their company; loving, laughing, and enjoying every minute.
Then, when everything seemed to be at the peak of enjoyment, a thought crept into his mind. That thought changed everything for him.
“Why am I here?” He asked himself.
The thought crowded his mind and he quickly became obsessed. He couldn’t quit thinking about it. He began searching for an answer. He went to his wife. He looked her in the eyes and asked her the question. She shrugged and a worried look crossed her face.
“What does it matter?”, she asked.
He wasn’t satisfied. He went to a friend and asked, “How do you think we got here?”
The friend replied with a smile, “God put us here.”
“But why?”, he asked.
“To serve him.”
“WHY?”, his frustration grew. He went to a neighbor. “Why do YOU think we are here?”, he asked.
The neighbor smiled, “To search for answers within ourselves. To become one with everything.”
The man still was not satisfied and became increasingly more anxious and frustrated. He began to annoy his friends and family and they became worried about him. His kids looked at him like a stranger and shied away. His wife tried to talk to him, but he only obsessed about the question and scared her. She too began to stay away from him. Time went on and he began to panic. He became bitter and ill. Everyone stayed away and thought he had become insane. They went on living their lives without him and this made him angry.
One day, a very old and wise man approached him. He began to barrage the old man with question after question about the purpose of their existence. The old man lifted his hand to silence him. “Look around you.” The wise, old man said. “This is a perfect place. Everyone and everything you care about is here in front of you. They are growing more and more concerned, and you do not care. You choose to waste time chasing a question that cannot be answered. And you do not know how long you will be here.”
The man paused. He began thinking about his behavior and the behavior of those he cared about. He felt silly. He was going to apologize. He was going to love the company of his friends and family again and show them how much he loved them. He thanked the man and decided he would start now and go find his wife and talk to her and listen and do all of the things they used to do.
But before he could, the bells of the alarm clock tolled and the dream was over.