The old man sat at his table, his body frail, his breathing slow and labored. He had lived a long life, seen many successes and failures, joys and pain. He was now in his eleventh hour, and he had come to a momentous decision that had been forming in his mind for many months. He had devoted his life to God, believing in him, trusting in his will and guidance, but now, as he felt death looming, he could not help but feel angry and cheated.
The old man had gone to church faithfully every Sunday, had prayed to God every night, had done his best to follow the tenets of his faith. But as time went on and he faced more and more tragedy and disappointment, he could not help but feel as if God had abandoned him. Every time he had asked for help, it seemed to go unanswered. He had lost beloved family members and friends, been forced to endure suffering beyond what he thought he could bear, yet there had been no divine intervention.
The old man had clung to his faith, though, believing that his suffering had some greater purpose, that somehow, in the end, it would all be revealed and he would understand the plan. But now, as death drew near, he felt only an immense sense of injustice and disappointment. He felt that all his years of devotion had been a waste.
For the first time in his life, the old man allowed himself to contemplate other possibilities. Perhaps there was no God, no grand plan. Perhaps his life had been nothing more than a series of random events, with no meaning or purpose. It was a terrifying thought, but it was also strangely freeing.
He sat, embraced by the silence of the night, and slowly allowed himself to accept that he did not believe in God. It seemed strangely liberating. No longer bound by religious doctrine, he could accept whatever life had to offer, with no expectation of reward or punishment. He could be free to live in the present moment, accepting what is, and knowing that it will all soon pass away.
The old man closed his eyes, wrapped in a strange sense of peace. He knew that this belief, or lack thereof, would not change his fate, but in his eleventh hour, it was a comfort. He could face death without fear, without regret, without any expectations at all.
January 24th, 2023
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