Even the atheist remembers God

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Ikhwanul Kiram Mashuri
JAKARTA

ONE day in the late 1980’s, Michael Gorbachev (then President of the Soviet Union) once prayed, “May God giving me strength and this nation.” The President was going through the most difficult moments. He had just rolled out a massive change in the country. The changes, he called it glasnost (political openness) and perestroika (economic restructuring).

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev

Trough Glasnost and perestroika, he intended to change the Soviet Union from the rigid and closed communist system into a more open system. The system gave a greater role for the public to participate in economic and political fields. The hope was, of course, to create the acceleration of economic development (uskoreniye).

However, something that he did not expect, in fact the people of the land of Red Bear were not ready to implement the system. Glasnost and perestroika turned to be a backfired for him. These two programs directly or indirectly has triggered the dissolution of the Soviet Union and later followed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The latter was a symbol of competition the Eastern Bloc (led by the Soviet Union) with the Western Bloc (led by the United States), known as the Cold War.

In August 1991, a group of hard-line communists in Moscow attempted a coup against his rule. They were angry over plan to change the shape of the country. Five months later Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president.

Though no longer be president, Gorbachev was still attracted to be reviewed by experts for years to come. Not just about his glasnost and perestroika, but also about what he said, including his confession that there is a power beyond himself in ‘Up There’.

For the communists, religion -which is based on the belief in God- is only an addiction considering to poison people. Communists are atheists. Communists do not acknowledge the existence of God. Therefore, the recognition of a Gorbachev over a force in the ‘Up There’ regarded as a sign of the collapse of communism, since he was then the supreme leader of the communist nations, the strongest in the world.

Moreover, it had been proved later, the Russian Federation, formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union, freed its citizens to have religion or without religion. It freed people to believe in god or to be unbeliever. So did communists in China. In the most populous country in the world, communist ideology is to be more as a political system. Communist is no longer an ideology to be atheists.

Russian President Vladimir Putin bends to kiss an icon of the Madonna as Pope Francis looks at him on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. (AP / Claudio Peri) Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/putin-meets-both-pope-and-old-friend-berlusconi-on-visit-to-rome-1.1559723#ixzz2pJZExRGG

Russian President Vladimir Putin bends to kiss an icon of the Madonna as Pope Francis looks at him on the occasion of their private audience at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. (AP / Claudio Peri)
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/putin-meets-both-pope-and-old-friend-berlusconi-on-visit-to-rome-1.1559723#ixzz2pJZExRGG

That’s why, Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Vatican last November, he and Pope Francis bow in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary (Maryam), while his mouth muttering prayers. Some media also questioned Putin who was praying? Is it true that he was the communist secret service, KGB agent, in East Berlin or an Orthodox Christian? Is he a Soviet era Communist or religious Russian?

Communist as an ideology – and not as a political system- does not seem able to survive or be maintained. Therefore, intuitively, every human being – whether consciously or unconsciously – will admit there is other force outside himself. A strength that is more powerful beyond human power.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill attend a meeting with Russian Orthodox church bishops in Moscow February 1, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Gunyeev

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill attend a meeting with Russian Orthodox church bishops in Moscow February 1, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Sergei Gunyeev

Who has that superpower? It’s a power that capable of lifting and lowering the degree of a person, a power that can bring catastrophe and luck, a power that can bring flash floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, a power capable of devastating magnificent buildings and its contents, a power that is able to undermine the glory of a nation and the old state and the future?

So, where doses a terrible accident comes from even though people had been to be careful? Also is there any man can take refuge against the advancing age of the baby, then a teenager, youth, adults, old, and then die? Who is the Creator of all that superpower?

Humans, measured from any side, are very small. Human is just a point. Even a very minor point when compared to the old age of the world lives for thousands, millions, or even billions of years. Man, even if he was poor or the rich, super rich, it is just a point.

Man, weather coomon or rabble ruler, he was also just a point. Wealth will come to an end when he died. The power will also be a limit when the time came. Thus even with Mikhael Gorbachev. Also Vladimir Putin or whoever is holding the power and wealth, for whatever its power and wealth. Everything will have its own end.

Not just a point. Humans are also weak in the face of the Superpower. That’s why, Gorbachev and Putin aka formerly communist godless atheist still need prayer. They need to remember (dzikir) the Almighty who has powers beyond human reason. So did world football player is still in need of prayer before going to the field. They do not feel confident with their strategy, technical capabilities, as well as physical fitness. They still need luck.

Yes, every man, every one of us, obviously in need of luck. The luck which is came from outside of our capabilities and maximum effort. In the language of religion (Islam), luck or good fortune is obviously comes from Allah [SWT], the Superpower capable of anything. Kun fayakun.

To obtain the kun fayakun of God (Allah SWT), we would need preparation. Like someone who will jump away, he needs to take a running start. The running start could be in the form of certain moments. Say, before the turn of the year as it is now (yesterday), for example, self reflection and evaluation. Looking back on what we have done and looking to the future with a spirit of optimism, realizing that we are just a small point in life. And, as a minor point, we look forward to the Supreme Governing Life for a luck and good fortune in the coming years.

Hopefully we can stare year with enthusiasm and optimism. Hopefully anyway good luck and good fortune always overshadow our lives. Kullu ‘aamin wa antum bikhoirin.

Republika
2 January 2014

http://www.republika.co.id/berita/en/resonance/14/01/01/myphjt-even-the-atheist-remembers-god

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