Pipa was the name of a village located in the northwest region of this land once called Brazil. Countries and borders were things of the past, and the world was not divided into nations anymore. There were only continents, regions, towns, and villages. This region of the land was extremely rich in natural wonders. Its dunes, sea, mangroves, lagoons, wildlife, typical fruits, and tropical climate would give you a deeper understanding of the meaning of the word ‘paradise.’ The turquoise-green clear and warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean washed its sandy beaches. Its mild temperatures made this little corner of the planet a perfect nursery room for several specimens of animal life, including marine turtles that choose this place for their spawning. The study and protection of the marine turtles used to be the job of Jose Carlos. A marine biologist born in this small village.
Levi worked with Jose in the Hyperloop pods maintenance team. He spoke with him about Lee and his love for animals. That weekend Jose invited Jacob, Rachel, Levi, and his friend, Lee, to join him and his family on a visit to his home village. In the past, leaving New York by plane, the flight to Pipa would take about twenty hours. Now, the same trip took them only a couple using the Intercontinental Hyperloop System. Jose and his family loved using the tubes for that trip. A considerable part of the journey consisted of crossing the North Atlantic Ocean underwater. The translucent nature of the pods’ roof and windows allowed its passengers to be astonished by the magnificence of marine life every single time. Whales, sharks, fish of all kinds, and many more aquatic animals could be seen during this incredible submarine voyage.
“Mom, mom. Look!” said the eight-year-old boy, Sem. Jose’s youngest. “It’s a blue whale, look!”
“Wow. Isn’t she beautiful?” Carol, Sem’s mother, replied.
“She is huge!” Robert, Jose’s twelve-year-old son, added. Jacob and Rachel were fascinated by the children. Levi had made trips underwater before, but he was as excited as were Jose’s boys. So was Lee, dumbfounded to see a blue whale that close for the first time.
When they arrived, Jose took his guests to his parents’ house. They lived by the beach close to a famous bay called “The Dolphins Bay.” Every day, dolphins would visit the bay to enjoy dinner and play with the locals. The bay had a concave-shape surrounded by high walls of white-colored soft rocks with its top covered by a dense green of trees and brown bushes. Its waters were deep, warm, and crystal clear. Its waves could be high sometimes, but that day they were quiet and shallow. The access was tough, protect by the tides and the shore of rocks. But the bay itself had a plain, clean, and white sandy beach. Jose provided everyone with snorkels and took them for a swim in the bay. Their perfect bodies allowed them to stay underwater for minutes on end. The dolphins would take them all the way to the bottom of the bay and back. Lee joined his new dolphin friend in a hunt, chasing a school of fish trapped in the bay. He held him by the fin, and with impressive speed, they cut through the fish. Jumping over the waves with fancy acrobatic moves, the dolphins looked like they were having as much fun as were Jose’s guests.
They decided to spend the night on the beach. The full moon illuminated the night turning the beach into silver, where the fire kept them warm. Jose played the guitar, his wife sang with a fabulous voice, while Rachel and the children danced around the fire. Levi sat close to Jacob. He was concerned about Lee and needed Jacob’s help.
“I’m so glad to see Lee enjoying himself. He has been a little bit negative lately,” Levi said.
“I have noticed. People wake up here from a completely different reality, and some just need more time to adapt than others,” Jacob replied.
“I don’t know many people that struggle like Lee does. That concerns me.”
“Do you know how his spiritual routine is? Does he have someone to study the scriptures with him?”
“Yes. Lee is studying the New Rolls now, and he is getting the same education as I am. That is what worries me. Lee has a perfect body and a perfect brain, just like everybody else does. Why can’t he appreciate the wisdom behind the laws and changes of the New Earth as others do?”
“We all have perfect bodies and perfect brains, but we are not yet perfect, right?”
“Are you referring to the one thousand years-time period leading to perfection?”
“Yes. Perfection is relative. Having perfect physical bodies does not make us perfect. Not in a complete sense, anyway. Just like a child born on the New Earth has a perfect little body, but he is not ready.” Jacob said, smiling at the boys trying elaborate yet inelegant moves in their attempt at dancing. Jacob then continued. “The baby needs time to grow and develop to reach his full potential. We might have perfect bodies now, but we all are going to need every one of those one thousand years to grow to maturity.”
“I see,” Levi said, looking at Jacob, and then back at the children.
“The perfection we should strive for is closely linked to our spiritual growth, only possible by strengthening our relationship with our Creator. And we know already that many will not get to that kind of perfection.”
“The Final Test?” Levi guessed. “Some are not going to make it, right?”
“Remember what is written? ‘Now as soon as the 1,000 years have ended, Satan will be released from his prison, and he will go out to mislead,'” Jacob started quoting the scriptures.
“The number of these is as the sand of the sea.” Levi completed the quote, grabbing a handful of sand and then watching it fall from his hand while he let it go.
“Yes. Think about Adam and Eve. Even though they were perfect, they still allowed their hearts to be deceived. And what about the perfect angels, perfect spiritual creatures, that decided to follow Satan? In the same way, during the Final Test, people will be perfect humans, but not all of them will be perfect mature spiritual persons, with a strong bond with their spiritual father.”
“I hope my friend passes the test,” Levi said, looking at Lee joining the children dancing around the fire.
“We all need to make sure we are ready for it. It’s a personal choice that we all have to make. You did well by introducing Jose to Lee. Jose is a mature brother. He is going to be a good influence on him. And Lee has a good heart. Let us not give up on him.”
Jose then took them to a spot were the marine turtle laid their eggs. It was the perfect time to visit. That day the eggs hatched, and they could witness hundreds of tiny marine turtles run from their nest to the ocean. After another diving session, this time swimming with the turtles, Lee fell in love with them too. He spent the rest of the afternoon by Jose’s side. He would not leave him for a second. At some moments, they looked like they were having a deep conversation. Other times, they would emerge from somewhere laughing away as if they were childhood friends.
“You know what, Lee?” Jose said. “Enjoying nature like this is amazing, isn’t it? Did you ever dream of one day being able to interact with animals like that? Being able to communicate with them, understand them, feel our connection to the planet, and with all other forms of life in it. I’m telling you. This is real life. A life worth living forever, don’t you think?”
“I have to agree with you. This is better than my wildest dreams,” Lee answered, staring at the ocean with grave eyes. He then faked a smile.
“What is the matter?” Jose asked.
“When I was a child, my dream was to become a vet. I liked the idea of helping them. But soon, I realized I wasn’t cut out for the job. I can’t stand to watch an animal die. You know some of the dolphins and turtles we swim with today by name. Does it not bother you to know that they will have to die while you get to continue to live forever?”
“As you said, I know many of these animals well. It feels like they are part of my family. And in the beginning, I also had to ask myself the same question. But, after I had my own children, I realized something about creation.”
“What was it?” Lee asked, turning towards Jose.
“Look at them,” Jose said, moving his head, pointing at his boys playing on the beach. “Can you tell they are my children?”
“Are you kidding? The resemblance is undeniable. The oldest has even your funny way of walking.”
“The way I lean to one side, you mean?” Jose asked for confirmation. Lee answered with a grin. “Yeah. I got that from my dad. Runs in the family.” Jose said, making them both laugh. Jose continued: “So, you can tell they are my children by the way they look, even by the way they walk. One could say that they were made the same as me, in my image, right? That is why they look so much like me.”
“Yeah,” Lee said, agreeing but hesitant.
“We, humans, we are creators ourselves. We build houses; we make our children’s toys, we manufacture all kinds of tools and machines. For example, at work, we have intelligent machines for heavy weight lifting and digging tunnels. Some machines are intelligent enough to build and assemble all the underwater tubes’ parts of the Continental Hyperloop System. I have worked with some of these machines for years. And I have to be honest with you; we get attached to them. But, do you think I have the same connection with this intelligent machine as I have to my sons?”
“Of course not. That would be ridiculous.”
“It would, right?” Jose continued. “Why do we build houses, toys, tools, and machines? It’s not for the sake of making things. We create them with a purpose. Everything we build is for our benefit and the benefit of our children and our children’s children.”
“I can’t argue with that, but I still can’t see the point.”
“The Creator made you in his image. That makes you his son. If everything we create is for our children’s benefit, for what purpose was everything else around us created then?”
“God created it for us?”
“For our benefit and our children and their children’s benefit. We don’t build machines to last forever. But wouldn’t you give eternal life to your child if you could? Well, he could, and he did.”
“Ok,” Lee said, still not convinced. “Machines are built with a specific purpose. What is the purpose of animals, then? For food, looking pretty, and breaking our hearts?”
“As a biologist, you understand how vital animals are for sustaining life on this planet. So, yes. Our survival is strictly linked to their existence, but I think they are here also to teach us vital lessons.”
“What lesson is that?”
“Well, they make me think about the kind of love the Creator has for me.”
“You know the love you have for animals? What do you expect in return from them?”
“What do you mean? I can’t expect anything from them.”
“Because they can’t really understand or conceptualize what would constitute an equivalent way of paying me back? I don’t know, man. Mainly because I love them unconditionally. Seeing them happy makes me happy, and that is enough for me, I guess.”
“We are so small and limited before God. We would never be able to pay back what he has given to us. But that fact does not stop him from loving us. Out of love, he went to great lengths to give us the life we have today. This is the kind of love the Creator shows toward us.”
“Huh,” Lee reacted.
“And, what if someone or something threatened your beloved animals’ existence, how would you feel about it?”
“I would do whatever was in my power to protect and save them.”
“You feel like this about animals. Imagine how you would feel if your own children were being threatened.”
“I don’t have children, but I can imagine that I would want to eliminate the threat even more.”
“What do you think the Final War was?”
“God eliminating the threat?” Lee said unsure of his answer.
“Well, think about it,” Jose said, standing up. “One thing is for sure.“ He continued moving towards the water. “Creation teaches us a great deal about its Creator. And animals are great teachers.”
“Huh,” Lee thought and exhaled.
To make that memorable day unforgettable, Jose took the group now to a lake where the river meets the sea. From the top of the cliff, they watched the sunset—a masterpiece of lights and colors as they had never seen before. Lee wasn’t with them on the cliff. He was down on the beach, saying goodbye to his new friends in a last swim.
After the sunset, they headed back to Jose’s parent’s home. Dinner was almost ready. Jose’s mother was serving her specialty that night. For her guests, she made breaded lobster with fried cassava, a typical dish from their region. She explained that they usually eat a plant-based diet. But that day was no ordinary day. So, she decided to make something special. Lee hesitated at first. But to be polite, he agreed to taste the lobster. After that, he couldn’t stop eating.
The Kingdom Hall, the place used to worship the Creator, was located at the center of the village. A thirty-minute walk from Jose’s parent’s home. Once the meeting was over, the whole congregation got together at Jose’s house for some more good food and music. Levi had never seen Lee so happy.
Playing with wild animals is a dream come true for Lee. What are you looking forward to in the New Earth? Let us know in the comments below.