Saturday, March 04, 2006

From Here to Eternity

A friend recently posted about heaven, and whether or not it existed. The consensus on the Blog was that the only heaven a person could count on was the one you made here on earth.
Sounds politically correct enough...Not for my Muslim friends, or for the people I go to Church with, but for lots of people this sounds pretty good.

***This is not a religious post, so don't run off!!!***

I was telling my girlfriend about this over the weekend, and she was ready to tic off scripture verses and references about the reality of heaven when I stopped her and said..."Well, according to CS Lewis they are kind of right." She gave me a very queer look.

In THE WEIGHT OF GLORY, Lewis explains that when we come to the end of our lives, if we are "Believers" (he was a Christian) we would look back over our lives from the point of our conversion and see that we have been in heaven all along. Those who were crossing over to hell would find that they had, in fact, been living in hell all along.

Now, as I get older, I find it to be a little disturbing to meet people who are obviously in hell...Right now. Even some who claim to be "Believers", are not living in what I'd call heaven. I am not talking about economic conditions, or poor choices in a partner, or even people who are sick, or caring for a loved one who is sick. We all walk through Hell from time to time, but we don't have to live there.

I KNOW you know what I am talking about. There are any number of blogs we can read and be certain that the writer lives at 666 Brimstone Lane. They are angry, bitter, jealous, petty, proud, mean-spirited, selfish, and acidic. Everyday they marinade in some ugly stuff, and it spills out in the things they say, and onto the people around them.

The opposite is true of other people. Some may call themselves "Believers", and some may not...but they emit a kind of light and happiness that is easy to recognize but at the same time hard to define. I am drawn to these kinds of people. I realize that I am one of these kinds of people, inspite of the way I feel when I get up on some mornings :)

I do put my best face on, in almost everything. You might never know from this blog, or even if you spent loads of time with me, that I grew up in a home below the poverty level for many years. We got free cheese and p-butter from the Salvation Army, and on more than one occasion I went to the Health Clinic for a check up because there was no $ for a private Dr. My clothes were hand-me-downs from very nice people in the church. In 5th grade I had exactly 3 pairs of pants for the entire school year...one red, one blue, one green. I remember them well because I was sick to death of them in about 2 weeks...but I wore them for at least 36.
My sister and I loaded and stacked firewood, for our house in the city, so the woodstove my dad put in the basement would keep the house warm and keep the electric bill at bay.
There were loads of us kids...too many some would say, but we all survived and none of us went to bed hungry. We had cereal or scrambled eggs many nights, and mom always made it sound like a fun event to have breakfast for dinner...but I know now that she could feed 4-6 kids on $2.00 with milk and cereal, or eggs and bread.
In an era where my friends had alligators on their shirts, my mom was not above MAKING clothes for me. She didn't do this much, thank goodness, but I had at least one home-made purse and a skirt or 2. It was all I had, and my parents EXPECTED me to be thankful for it.

Herein lies the key...Gratitude. Thankfulness for waking each day, taking stock of what you have and being glad you have it. Not always having what you want, but wanting what you have.
It is not always easy.
I admit that I complain sometimes about any number of things, but usually I try to see the good in whatever situation life presents me with. If I have a cold, thank God it is not the flu. If I have run out of money, then I'm thankful that I know how to be resourceful. No one could stretch a dollar or a chicken further than my mom, and she taught me a lot.
I suffered from a back injury from the time I was 13 until I was 30. After years of being seen by Dr.'s, a physical therapist figured out what was wrong, and corrected it (with exercises) in about 3 weeks :)
I was sexually assaulted as a teenager and learned a valuable lesson in trust, and listening to my gut no matter what. I was verbally (and psychologically) abused by a man who should have been a mentor...my pastor, who jaded everything I saw in the church for a very long time. I made some terrible decisions at 16 which I still live with to this day.
However, nothing that has happened to me has been for nothing. In every case, and I mean EVERY one, I have been able to help another person because of my experiences.

Whatever and Whoever exists out there, and I believe it to be God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, they have given us the capacity to choose. To love, or to hate. To be grateful, or to be selfish. To give, or to always take. To listen, or ignore the people around us. To embrace this life, to love the people we meet, to cherish these moments and the time we are given, or fritter it away with worry, and envy, and anger. We get to choose, everyday. We get to decide about our own eternity, as well as getting to decide about our tomorrows.

I do believe in heaven. I do believe in love. I do believe in eternity. I do believe we are given terrible choices sometimes, and we can make the best of it, or much, much less. I hope I am on the path to heaven, and so far, as I look back, I am mostly not sorry for the bad or difficult things that have happened to me...because I can see where my pain has been a benefit for someone else...for someone who needed to know they could live through whatever they were facing because I did, and they had a friend who understands them.

We walk from here to eternity.
I am thankful for the people I am on this journey with...and some of you know that I am talking about YOU!!!

Much love,
-me :)

11 comments:

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Well, you know my take on this.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Yes friend Valerie...I do. And I had you in mind as I finished this.
Blessings...

doc-t said...

Sooo????

This has nothing to do with that couple rolling around on the beach in the waves????

crud...

Okay... Heaven, If i designed it...

1: Food - it's ALL good.

2: One size really DOES fit all.

3: Ice cream builds muscles.

4: almost every piece of property is water-front.

5: Every body has their own highway so there's no traffic jam.

6: men understand women.

7: women understand men.

8: There is only happiness... which means there will be no games like uno, taboo, or crazy eight which really only serve to start fights.

9: There are no alarm clocks.

10: you never lose your keys because they always come back to you...

oh i could go on...

However....

I expect God has higher plans than me...

I don't feel so bad, He's older than me, smarter than me, and knows.. well He knows everything... It's fair to say He's more qualified. and I Do think He would describe it in ways we could understand, IF our minds could grasp it. I dont think they could.

story... George washing carver.

George goes out early one morning into the woods to have some quiet time. while he's there he begins praying.

George: Lord, show me how you made the Universe.

God: My child, your mind could not handle it.

George: Well, then show me how you made the world.

God: My child, I love you, but your mind could not handle it.

George: Okay Lord, then...Just show me how you mad man.

God: George, your mind could not contain the wonder.

At this point George became quite frustrated and blurted out

George: Well then why don't you just teach me something about peanuts!

Sure people say that the streets of Heaven will be paved with gold, and gates made of pearl... I think it's because our tiny minds could not comprehend the wonder.

i think we'd explode... Sure, i can dream up a pretty good Heaven and i'll feel better knowning that God's plans are infinitely better than mine....

doc-t said...

Dang, maybe i should have just blogged that.

Mayden's Voyage said...

Doc-T,
Copy it and blog away!!! I promise not to tell! But, you have to say that I was the inspiration for the post! :)

luxlucisvita said...

eeeey!!!!..me asked about heaven tooooo!!!....i think....i found it...YEAH!..Heaven is in all ov' you!!!!

gaaawd..i love you all!

Valerie - Riding Solo said...

Go here, sign up, get a counter code, copy and past it into the footer section of your blog page.

http://www.statcounter.com/

Mayden's Voyage said...

Prism,
You were the friend I referred to at the beginning of the post...I read yours last week, and then Val wrote about something similar, and I had been chewing on this for a while...so the time was right to blog! Best of everything to you with the big changes coming in your life! I know you will, and have made a difference in the lives of many children!
Thank you! :)

Malinda777 said...

WOW, I can so relate to this post right now. I just fired a lady at my company that among other things could NOT get past the ACIDIC part. I had used the word abrasive myself, but I think acidic is more appropriate.

I am also a Christian that doesn't attend church regularly any more, but I do understand that a true Christian just tries to live by example where humanly possible, and take the good with the bad. Without rain by the way, there would never be a rainbow...

Nice post

luxlucisvita said...

i love this post!...I went back to this and read and read and read...it was as if i wrote it myself!...

sometimes i question the reality of the heaven that is stated in the Bible itself...you know..the one with mansions and all that...or the paradise where there are no tears or suffering...

then it hit me....i'm having a taste of it already...this heaven i ask ov'...it's inside..inside of me..and you and all of us...

and i do believe in eternity...as well...

Mayden's Voyage said...

GO read Malindas post about her nephew and the Rainbow question!
Precious!