Once, during one of his missionary journeys, Billy Graham—the well-known evangelist— received a message from an American billionaire who asked to meet him as soon as possible. Accordingly, Billy Graham cancelled his other appointments and set out to meet the billionaire.
As soon as he reached the billionaire’s home, he was ushered into a separate room where the billionaire on his deathbed was waiting for him. Upon meeting him, the billionaire said: “You see, I am an old man. Life has lost all meaning. I am going to take a fateful leap into the unknown. Young man, can you give me a ray of hope?”
This is not just the story of one billionaire; rather it is the story of all human beings. Everyone—be he rich or poor, great or small—is ultimately faced with this same feeling. Each person wants to build a world of his choice. He devotes all his time towards this end, till the final hours of his life come and he leaves this world with the feeling of helplessness, knowing that he could not achieve what he wanted to.
What is the reason for this? Man is the only creature in this vast universe, who cherishes countless desires in his heart. Are these desires ever going to be fulfilled? Will everyone finally be buried in the graveyard of his or her own desires? Every man and woman fosters a world of dream in his or her mind. Is this world of beautiful dreams only there to remain a dream, and never to be realised? Everyone grows an orchard of beautiful desires, but no-one has the good fortune to enter this beautiful orchard. Why this contradiction?
Such contradiction does not exist anywhere else in this vast universe. The inanimate world, the plant world and the animal world are completely free from such contradiction. Then why is this contradiction found only in the human world? The reason is that there is a basic difference between man and the rest of the universe. That is, man’s life is divided into two stages—the stage of life before death and the stage of life after death. Unlike man, all other things in the universe have no stage beyond this present world. They are meant only to come into existence, and then be obliterated one day forever.