The beautiful inter-connected tapestry of life on earth
Kaka D. Iralu
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t the outset, allow me first to explain (for the sake of those who might not know) that a tapestry is a work of art where different colors of wool are interwoven together into a harder fabric to produce an inter-connected and beautiful picture.
Life on earth is not an un-connected compartmentalized set of independent entities. On the contrary, life on earth is an inter-connected tapestry of different entities interwoven together into a whole by God the creator. We can call this inter-connected whole as “The Beautiful Inter-connected Tapestry of Life on Earth.” In this inter-connected reality of life, religion is connected to law; law is in turn connected to politics and politics to economy, etc. The invisible but personal God who created this beautiful tapestry of life can be felt and experienced not only through the spirit but even through law, politics or economy. This experience can be experienced through obedience to his spiritual, legal, political and economic commandments given in the Bible. In this way, we can experience the invisible God not only in our spirits but also in our physical lives too. In fact we can feel his presence in all facets of our lives on earth by obeying all his commandments.In this inter-connected tapestry of life, only the naive and the ignorant can insist that religion and politics have no connection. In fact, religion is the guiding principle of politics. Here if we analyze the political reality of the world, we will find that all civil laws that governs political systems in the world are based on religious truths and commandments. In fact, all constitutions of the world including all judicial systems as well as all universal human rights declarations are all based on the Ten Commandments of the Bible.
That being the fact, when just laws are enacted based on these just commandments of God – just political systems are established leading to a just society where equality, fraternity and liberty can reign. In such a society, economic prosperity can also develop with security to life and property.
Many Christians think that all good things meant for humanity will happen only in heaven. Some even think that to have happiness on earth is unchristian in principle. But from reading the Bible, which I believe is the revealed word of God; I am convinced that God wants us to live happily in this world too. However, as stated earlier that happy life can be lived only when we obey his commandments regarding our personal lives, family lives, national lives and international co-existence.
That however does not mean that I believe in the possibility of a utopian world where perfection can be established on earth. I do not believe in the possibility of such a life because fallen man can never restore the Garden of Eden to all its former glory in his own effort. (The Bible tells us that only God will do this in the future new heaven and the new earth.(See Rev 21:23-26) Human history also stands testimony to the fact that man in his fallen nature will always make a mess of his life on earth. However whatever life’s imperfection may be, the goal and the ideal is to always strive for the best possible life on earth under the obedience of God’s laws. Therefore, in summary and in the Nagaland context, while I do not believe in a utopian Nagaland on earth, I do ardently believe in a far better world then the present Nagaland in which I have lived for the past fifty seven years of my life. (For examples of a better world on earth read Zach. 8: 3-8 or Duet. 28:1-8. These Bible verses are in fact my vision and reasons for striving for a better Nagaland).
It is however, true that contrary to the ideal world that I long for, when the commandments of God are violated by man and wrong laws are enacted, political chaos and economic disasters overtake societies leading to even the very nullification of the right to life and property. Nagaland has suffered under such a suffocating political system for the past over half a century.
By God’s grace Nagaland has been gifted with a lot of natural beauty and mineral and economic resources. Its inhabitants are also a proud and versatile people. However its beautiful lands, natural resources- and most of all- its people have been desecrated by foreign invaders. And in this context, I just can’t understand those Nagas who doesn’t care about what has overtaken Nagaland from 1947 to the present. Yes, I just can’t understand those Naga who pretend that everything is fine with Nagaland.
In this inter-connected reality of life that I fully believe in, the whole concept begins with God and ends with humankind’s happiness on earth. My role in life, as I understand it from reading and believing in the Bible is to fight for the establishment of a just society which will be based on the just laws of God. For the past sixteen years, I have fought for just such a political establishment where I and my children (and all other fellow Nagas) can have life and security here on Earth. Here, my mission in life is God centered. I am fighting and risking my life in this fight because I believe in God’s just laws with all my heart and soul and mind.
Concerning my present work, many friends think that I am doing something God has not called me to do. They think that God has called me for greater things like saving souls and laying up treasures in heaven etc. These well meaning friends think that instead of engaging myself in eternal issues, I am wasting my time on temporal and earthly affairs.
While appreciating their concerns and also appreciating others who are in full time church ministries, here, I wish my detractors to know why I am doing what I am doing. I also want them to know that I am doing what I am doing because I believe this is what God wants me to do. The present thing that I am doing is not at all what I had always wanted to do. In fact many a times, I have been tempted to just abandon my present work and go back to the former life of a preacher and minister of the Church. In that former life I never encountered any opposition from any quarter for preaching the truths of God’s words. In fact, instead of opposition, I was patted and praised whenever I preached or taught from the Bible. But the moment I stared to apply my Biblical knowledge to contemporary politics and economy insisting that we should practice what we preach, I started getting opposition and treats to my life even to the extend of abduction and intimidation of all sorts. What I eventually discovered is that as long as one is preaching about “heaven in the afterlife” there will be no opposition from the world. But the moment you start preaching “heaven on earth” you will get into trouble! What I discovered is that as long as you are preaching on the principles of the kingdom of God into heaven, you will face no opposition. But the moment you start preaching about practicing the principles of the kingdom of heaven into this world, you will get into trouble.
But trouble or no trouble, as long as God grants life, the struggle for freedom and liberty shall go on. This is because, as far as I am concerned- to give up on the struggle is to give up on all that I believe about God and his laws.
This is a personal statement. A fuller and more detailed account of this article will appear in his third forthcoming book, the author says.