Friday, June 08, 2012

Heaven Beside You

This is the article that was published in the Nelson Star on June 8th.

If I were to be honest with you, one of the concepts that unnerves me the most is the idea of eternity. In my finite mind, I am unable to conceive an afterlife that I would want to never end. Even if I could do everything I ever wanted to do all day, it would seem to me that eventually I would like to simply stop.

I've never fully comprehended why some people are so desperate to get to heaven because I can't conceive of a heaven that would be eternally satisfying.

You may be wondering how in the world was this guy allowed to write in the faith section. Isn't it foundational to the Christian faith to have confidence in life in the hereafter? I'm not saying that heaven does not exist, but rather that I don't know what it looks like. This is what I do have confidence in: whatever the afterlife is, whether it is a heavenly city with roads paved with gold or it is a simple fading away into nothingness, it will be as it should be.

I point to Matthew 6 where Jesus says, "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

Although this passage is speaking about the here and now, I believe it carries into the afterlife. I don't know what the afterlife holds. It might be so great that my mind would be blown away and I will think that I was silly to ever doubt it. However, it will be taken care of and its not my place to be responsible for it and for who is in and who is out.

What I am responsible for is the pool of resources entrusted to me, the sphere of influence I have and the opportunities to bring peace and love that are the hallmarks of the kingdom of heaven.

It is too easy to let this present world burn and dream about the perfection of a future heaven and forget that we can have heaven here and now, bringing it to our fellow humankind. Let God worry about the rest.

What is heaven like? I don't know. However, I do not believe the point of being a Christian is to go to heaven when you die. I think the point is to join God in bringing His kingdom of love, peace, justice and mercy (or in a word, heaven) to a world in desperate need of it.

"Left to right,
Up and down, love
I push up love, love everyday,
Jump in the mud, oh
Get your hands dirty with
Love it on everyday"
- Title track from Dave Matthews Band's album "Everyday"

1 comment:

Dana said...

i feel the same way as that first paragraph...eternity kinda freaks me out a little...if i'm gonna be totally honest.