Tuesday, March 09, 2010

As they say, I grew-up in church. I even lived inside a church for a couple years, but that's a whole other post. I've lived in three different states and I've met many, many Christians.

Some of those Christians believed Life is just one messy struggle following another because that's the way God meant it to be. Some thought non-Christians were disgusting and to be avoided. Others believed that anyone who didn't believe as they did, were, well, stupid. Some thought that if you didn't attend church every single Sunday, even if you were sick, God would be mad at you. He would also be mad if you weren't perfect, if you didn't read the Bible every single morning and if you didn't spend a certain amount of time being mad at yourself.

Many of those Christians from my Past have, through the years, died. And you know? I believe when they reached Heaven they were shocked.

Shocked to discover that Life lived with God could have been peaceful and beautiful even in the middle of storms. Surprised that God loved everybody, even non-Christians and that He'd made forgiveness available (through Jesus) so they could freely love anybody, including themselves.

Their minds were probably blown away to discover that they, themselves, had been wrong about many things which others had gotten right. Their eyes probably became huge when they found out that the joy of the Lord really was their strength and God was so passionately in love with them, that He didn't even get mad when they made mistakes. He just provided ways to do better next time, except they kicked themselves so hard they didn't even see those ways.

And they might have been horrified when they discovered that God was way more interested in loving them and having them love others than in making them perform all the many daily duties everybody proclaimed were the most important things of all.

As for me? I don't want to be shocked when I reach Heaven. I don't want to stand there on Judgement Day with a thousand regrets regarding the life I could have lived. Instead, I want to live Life with God's present joy, love and peace, to celebrate His nearness. I long to stay open to all He wants to teach me, to remain pliable so that when I rush into His arms in Heaven, there will be as few shocks as possible. I want that first hug to simply to be an extension, a continuation of the hugs He and I share here, upon Earth.


"The greatest of these is love..." From I Corinthians 13


"Learn your lessons well ..."


"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." ... copied


Anonymous said...

and this is why i love to read your blog!


Judy said...

Oh, Debra. You have a GIFT. Keep sharing it!

Pat said...

I think I could have written this post..but not as well!
You have echoed my heart and my life.
I want to remain "pliable" too.

Dolores said...

WOW! This is one of your best posts. I loved it.

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Oh..What a wonderful post. It makes me want an even closer relationship with God. Praise God! Lisa in Texas :o)

Elizabeth said...

Another wonderful post Debra!

Patty H. said...

Amen! Thank you.

Rodney Olsen said...

Thanks for your thought provoking post.

I want to be surprised that God is all and more than I have believed. That would be a great surprise. I want to be surprised to find that God is even more loving and forgiving than my mind could ever comprehend.

Just like you, I don't want to be surprised to find that I've been worshiping and following a God of my own invention.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This post is so timely for me.
Just this afternoon, I was telling my husband that my grandparent's faith was filled with "shall not".
I was telling DH that I did something that probably made my grandfather dance for joy, in Heaven, today. Then, I said, "No, that is wrong. He believed dancing was a sin. Then, I listed all the other sins he told me about. It was a sin to wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, etc. It was a sin to put a coin in a gumball machine, hoping to get a trinket, because that was gambling.
It was a sin to play cards. The list was long.
My God is a joyful, loving God, and having fun, is not a sin as long as it is innocent. Life should be joyful, not somber.
Although the last year has been the most difficult in my life, and loss has been heartbreaking, I try to find joy whenever I can.
Knowing that my little grandson, my mother, and my dear friend are joyful in Heaven now, makes the pain much more bearable, and I want to focus on the positive.
Thanks for this reminder!

Donetta said...