I have a couple of questions for you.
Can you imagine yourself taking a bath only once a month?
You’ll freak out, right? But let’s say there’s a water shortage and a presidential decree was issued that showers can only be taken every thirty days—with a maximum of two gallons of water for each Filipino per bath. (Out of our ingrained hospitality, foreigners are allowed to use two-and-a-half gallons.)
Entering into an air-conditioned room or bus will be a nightmare, as various toxic odors will hang so thickly in the air, it may coagulate into gel form.
Prayer meetings will prohibit the lifting of hands.
The basketball ring will be lowered to four feet.
And I presume that an accidental spark in a crowded elevator will be fatal, as the fumes of a sweating humanity will be flammable by that time.
Too gross for you? Let’s change the topic.
What would it be like if you brushed your teeth only once a year?
Let’s say some loony scientist discovered that the up and down motion of brushing teeth has a direct impact to the thinning of the ozone layer. (Who knows?) So brushing of teeth has been banned by legislative decree number 9002—except on New Year’s eve. That is the only day you can brush your teeth.
Imagine how thick your mouth will feel by November.
Think with me. Let’s say you’re out on a romantic date on December. Not much kissing will take place, believe me. And as you look at your beautiful damsel, you notice a bit of green lettuce jutting between her teeth.
So you tell her, “I know what you had for lunch this morning.”
“What pre-tell?” she teases you.
“Lettuce!” you grin.
She chuckles, “You’re wrong! That’s what I ate last March!”
Ah, these situations will be quite normal.
That you and I do more deranged things than bathing monthly and brushing teeth annually.
For example, when we do not forgive others everyday.
Our bodies need regular washing because we get dirty everyday. But so do our hearts! Because each day, people hurt us, offend us, forget us, snub us, step on us, reject us. But if we choose to forgive everyone everyday, we cleanse our hearts! We wake up the next morning refreshed and pure and lovely!
Some people however will not wash themselves from the hurts of each day but rather accumulate them week after week, month after month, year after year. Perhaps in some annual Holy Week retreat, they decide to forgive all their enemies. Perhaps when someone close to them dies, they remember to cancel debts and live for something more noble—rather than collecting bitterness.
But without these rare events, they just become filthier each day.
Their spirits begin to smell.
And their stench becomes flammable.
For these people, hell begins now.
Do for your soul what you do for your body.