I am a theist. I have been transformed into a staunch believer in God, not because of preaching but by the experiences and realisation of the Lord. I was saved four times from death by some miracle or unexplained reasons. Others may call it a coincidence but I know from within that there was surely a divine and compassionate power that rescued me.
I will not repeat the story of my severe illness and depression a decade before, which lasted for more than five years. Instead, I would like to share another coincidence here. Ninety years ago, a businessman named James Cash Penney from the USA had undergone a similar experience as me. Penney, a pioneer of the famous brand JC Penney was running more than 1,000 retail stores successfully. His fortune was at the zenith then. Unfortunately, the Great Depression of 1929 financially ruined his business empire and he became almost penniless. He had to take a loan against his insurance policy to pay his employees and creditors. Penney became depressed and was admitted to Battle Creek Sanatorium for treatment. His depression became aggravated further and he spent sleepless nights with the fear of death. He felt that every day was the last day of his life.
One night he slept very late but after a few hours woke up suddenly early in the morning. He felt hungry so he went towards the dining hall but found it closed. He then decided to take a walk to a nearby chapel. Some people were singing morning prayers there. Penney joined them and prayed to God from the heart, “I am really helpless. Will you take care of me?” As soon as the prayer ended he felt that the burden on his soul had been relieved and his journey had started from dark to light. That was the moment when his hope and confidence returned. Later, he was all cured and returned home. In a couple of years, he worked hard, inspired his employees, expanded the business and acquired his lost wealth again.
When I read this story, I was really amazed to note some stunning similarities common in both our experiences. Of course, I am a small businessman compared to the late Penney, but our profession was the same. We were both running a chain of retail stores. We both faced depression and feared death; we both prayed to God in the same way and with the same fervency and recovered what we had lost. For Penney it was wealth and for me it was health. I had begged for a second chance at life. I promised him to live it with happiness, humanity and discipline. I still abide by that.
I start my day with a prayer and end it with meditation. I am convinced that we communicate with God through prayer and receive his reply in meditation.
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