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The real meaning of life

Richard Čanaky

The music didn´t become my hideout but something like a terrace, a roof from which I can cry and speak about what God´s done for me.I know Christianity isn´t a rose fairy story but the true reality that is worth living.
The real meaning of life



My name´s Richard and I´m from a small town near the river Váh.My parents didn´t bring me up in faith but through my distant relatives I could get to know something about God.I was a little bit afraid of God who punishes the sinners, so I wasn´t very enthusiastic about him but it was quite obvious to me that he exists.I wasn´t interested in having the relationship with God, it was rather something like an adaptation to the traditions for which lived the family where I spent my holiday every year.Their faith was sincere and I can´t blame them for anything but evidently my time hasn´t come yet.
To cut a long story short, I experienced a happy childhood.However, I was fairly frightened of school.It was my neverending struggle.The basic school was a nightmare for me.When I was in about the sixth form we moved to Bratislava..At school I got poor marks, especially an insufficiency from the conduct .which at that time was something like an offence.In my immagination I went up to the higher forms.My arrival to Bratislava suddenly cancelled all my expectations from the wonderful big city.I´ve got excellent and loving parents but at that time they had serious worries about themselves- job,living- so they didn´t have any chance to notice my start.I ended up in one Petržalka basic school and what´s more, in a sports handball class.At first sight everything was O.K. but at that time sport was for me something like flying for the turtle.Therefore,a complete antitalent.My physique was also in this style and many times I only earned scorn and derision from my schoolmates.
There was a darkness in my heart and it was similar to the cursed spell.The only thing that came to my mind was to get away.Not only internal withdrawing into myself but also the real getaway.There were three of them.Always to my auntie´s to the mountains where I spent my childhood.Until these days I´ve been feeling there as if I were in paradise.There weren´t escapes from my parents nor the search for the sympathy.It was something like animal´s route from the burning forest.It doesn´t care where it´s running.It simply wants to be away from the source of pain.However, I carried the pain with me.There was no escape.
I started looking for the balm to my pain.The first one was the guitarre.I took it and I knew, I hoped that it´d be my salvation.That wasn´t true but the music began helping me describe my internal feelings.I started understanding myself more.It was a sort of sober statement of my condition but it worked for certain time.Looking at the mirror I knew I had to do something  about my physique.I started dancing the folklore dances.My brother was and he still is a big example for me as far as the unbending will´s concerned.He knew how to work very hard on himself and it motivated me to my physical performances.
When I was about sixteen years old I did 3620 press-ups on my fists which was an unofficial world record at that time.It was also a tower of strength to me.Later I took up bodybuilding, I even started attending competitions and so my physique began to be shapely.Of course, my coevals as well as the girls noticed it and showed respect for me.In the meantime, I was trying to fulfill myself among the Christians.I don´t know what to call it but I packed it up after two intensive years.This Christian life didn´t seem to attract me.I was tired of attending Mass every day.
I even was in the spiritual exercises.I took an active part in helping in a church but it was just an outward effect.No personal God – Jesus.Get-togethers, meetings but nothing more…..Gradually I packed it up and I ended up in a sort of consumerism where wild sex, alkohol, cigarettes, bars, discos, simply between quatation marks “normal“life.
All of a sudden, during doing sports I started jumping into relationships with the girls.I was feeling something like a hidden support but the opposite was true.I had a considerable number of relationships but many of them ended in the emotional hurt.First of all, it was my fault and later their fault.I was hurt so I started hurting them.It was a change and an adventure.At the same time I took exercises of martial arts.Jet Kune-Do captivated me most of all.I devoted all my time to it, to the meditations, and also to Silva´s method.I had my own combat altar at home and black kimono I wore all the Chrismas and I ate rice with little sticks at Chrismas Eve table.I was devoted heart and soul to it.There were pictures of Bruce-Lee, Jesus and Virgin Mary on my altar.It was all the same to me that I mixed it all.The thing was I wanted to gather all the sources which could be of any spiritual contribution to me.During my military service I was at a Christian camp where I worked as a sports group leader.I think it was round 1993.I met my today´s wife Silvia there.After this Christian camp I worked in the parish “Lamač” in Bratislava and I lead Christian group concentrated on martial arts.We really meant it.We organised regular trainings where Bible was read out.At the beginning we had a prayer and afterwards the training started.I was in charge of ten young enthusiasts.Likewise my getaways from my house, the guitarre, girls or martial arts didn´t solve my real problem either.I had to bridle my abilities more and more by practising meditations and putting them under supervision.It´s something like having a martial dog.As long as it´s a doggie, it´s a child´s play to watch it over but when it grows up,it needs a training otherwise it could endanger the owner.It´s the same with the martial arts.You can go in for them but one day they´ll become your life style and you´ll need mental training, philosophy that you´ll be guided by and have everything under supervision. Especially this point didn´t turn out right for me.
I came to be in a sort of a cavern.I perceived the others out of myself.I was also trying to solve problems of whatever sort in my shell and at my altar.Silvia´s suffered very much.Our mutual understanding and communication stagnated and I was trying to solve my problems by myself but something dragged me in some deep place. I didn´t know what it was but it started worring me.Since my personal education came to a standstill and I left the industrial school without a school-leaving exam I was working as a service engineer and a plumber.I was proud of my job.However, my future wife motivated me to take evening classes, so three times a week I spent my evening studying at the school desk.I thought it was going to be a drag but right here I started a new lease of life.I sometimes showed my fellow students kicks into the walls or into the chairs.A bloke´s noticed it and we´ve struck up a conversation..Naturally, Christianity came up for discussion.Surely,I didn´t hang back to talk about this subject as I was involved in my parish and this thing gave me the guarantee that martial arts and Christianity could go together.However, my new acquaintance maintained something else.He argued for a while but all of a sudden he changed his attitude and he began talking about Jesus.He talked about himself when he met him,what he´s going through now and what Jesus´d prepared for every person that received him in his heart.First,I successfully resisted it but something inside started nagging me.My evening meditations began to be chaotic.I called on several priests and I made sure whether was correct what I was doing.Armed and equipped with their encouragement I confronted new rounds of dialogues.Well, soon afterwards it did happen.I invited him to our meeting in the parsonage where we trained martial arts.I also told him to bring a pair of plimsolls and a tracksuit.There was going to take place a meeting in two week´s time.And it´s really occurred. However, during those two weeks there had been a huge storm inside me.I didn´t understand what the matter was with me but I knew something that I hadn´t known was coming.The words about Jesus were well-known to me but these ones were vivid.They were burning hot and stretching like quicksilver.
At a training I told all of them I was finishing going in for the martial arts. I didn´t know what happened but I knew what I lived and did was wrong.I didn´t have any words for explaining that, I´ve just had the certainty that I was packing it up.I started perceiving something inside.Something made me go to the people who lead the prayer meeting at the parsonage.They were leaders.I told them about it.The reaction was that we should start a new prayer meeting and I should be their leader.That was a big blow for me.I didn´t expect it nor did I know what it amounted to.At a first prayer meeting we were on our kneels and prayed.
We didn´t know how to pray.We didn´t wanna say classic prayers.We felt a strange atmosphere.The presence of someone invisible yet strongly present.We were crying and I know nowdays that the Holy Spirit was touching us.My friend also came to our next prayer meeting and he prayed with us.But first he´d asked us if we´d have liked to get to know Jesus personally and to receive him as our Lord and Saviour.My answer was clear and during this prayer I knew that my real life had just begun.This prayer was beautiful in what was coming but terrible in what I abandoned.
During the prayer I fell down on the ground and had a terrible struggle.At a moment as if time stopped and I had to decide between life and darkness. My decision for Jesus wasn´t easy.As if the darkness had drawn me back.It was difficult for me to utter the name of Jesus.I tried hard but it didn´t work.My friends kept on praying and I gradually managed to get it out of me.At that moment my heart was filled with unspeakable peace.My decision was clear.Jesus´s become my Lord and Saviour.Since that while, it´s been a weight off my mind and my shell´s been broken.Our prayer meeting got going.I passed my school-leaving exam and we started to serve.The music didn´t become my hideout but something like a terrace, a roof from which I can cry and speak about what God´s done for me.The fear of school passed off and I went on to the university.After five years of daily study I held a degree certificate in my hand.Only then it came home to me that nothing is impossible for God.
Prayer, family, fast and prayer group became my new values.I started to live a new lease of life which God´d prepared for me long ago.Nowdays,I´m married,I have a glorious wife and splendid two kids, a little boy and girl.My wife was the first person to look into my inside.When we met each other I was just finishing the industrial school.She was studying at university.She believed me.She saw me the values I didn´t believe either because they were neglected in my life.She´s given me her love and trust and with God´s and her help I´ve overcome my big scare- school.The music didn´t become my hideout but something like a terrace, a roof from which I can cry and speak about what God´s done for me.
Today we know how to live both in abundance and in insufficiency.We´re experiencing God´s care in every sphere of life.Prayer group´s become our next family.They´re our big background and our mutual service can grow and mature constantly.I´m aware of the fact that my parents were and are my great gift and unfortunately I often hurt them unwittingly.Their love often “protected my back”, however I had to experience some things on my own. I know Christianity isn´t a rose fairy story but the true reality that´s worth living.You may say there´re a lot of ways to God.Yes, there are but just one leads towards the highest – heavenly Father, the only God.This way is Jesus Christ.Bible speaks about our lives and about many promises in this and in the future age.It contains directions for living your life here on earth and for building your relationship with God.We´re looking forward to the heaven but our time is right here and now.God´s got a way-out for every rambling and incertainty.Your age or the quantity of the sins don´t matter either.Your decision is sufficient and your life can be changed too.You may say to yourself you don´t need any change, you´re satisfied but in that case you don´t get to know the adventure that expects you with Jesus.The adventure with the lasting result – the eternal life.You can make your decision even today.Tomorrow is too uncertain.Be blessed all of you
Richard Čanaky




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