Tag Archive | heaven

Entering a New Life

423019Last night one of my best friends called to say her twin brother had died. Jerry suffered from an incurable cancer. Everyone who loved him hoped that his first remission would have lasted longer, but after a short eighteen months, the cancer returned. The news was disheartening for his family.

Whenever I hear about someone my own age dying, it has always had an affect on me. Selfishly, I wonder what I would do if I had to face dying. I like to think the best. I like to think I would die with dignity, facing the unknown like I have faced so many other unknown situations that have entered my life. I like to think I would look at death as my next big adventure. I hope my next stop is a better world, where there is no pain or hunger. I hope this place lets me have the freedom to hurt no more. I hope this place is happy where I can rejoin others who have passed before me.

For thousands of years humans have believe in an afterlife, but is there such a place? When it comes down to it, we truly don’t know what happens after death. Growing up Christian I was taught I am an eternal being, and this earthly place is just part of my journey. If I live a good life, I will be rewarded in heaven. This ideology is a pleasant thought, isn’t it? Even Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He believed in heaven. If that thought is good enough for Him, then it certainly is good enough for me.

But are we humans really better than all of the other living things on this earth? Personally, I’m a little ashamed of my species. After thousands of years, we have learned nothing about living in harmony with nature and one another. We just keep on thinking of better ways to destroy our world and each other. It’s no wonder we want to leave here. Will we really do better in heaven?

I hope for Jerry’s sake there is a heaven. I hope for my sake and everyone I love there is a beautiful place where we all can meet after death and have a grand party. When I must face my own death, I will die as I have lived. Death is part of the cycle of life, and hopefully, I’ve fulfilled my mission here, even though I truly am not sure what it is.

Until that day comes, though, I will continue on the path I’ve struck. I will continue to live with love in my heart, and hope that love has touched others in a way that will live on. So if there is a heaven, I hope to see you there someday.

Heaven – Fact or Fiction?

November 28 006When I jump crawl out of bed, I always try to have a springboard of an idea to launch myself into something interesting to blog about. Like I have mentioned more than once, I use this wonderful tool as a kind of writing “warm-up” to get the old gray matter revved up for another day of writing. But this morning’s topic is EXTREMELY different from any of my other attempts to entertain.

This morning, I woke with a perplexing question. “When and where did the idea of heaven appear?” That’s right HEAVEN. Don’t ask me why that’s today’s topic, it just is.

After a brief walk through Google and Bing, one author pinpointed the date the heavenly idea of meeting God face-to-face was patented by the Jews  in 165 BC.  Before that time, heaven was just a place where God and his angels resided—no humans allowed.

But like all religious ideas, is heaven a human invention? Is there such a place? It’s nice to think of our loved ones going to a beautiful, comforting hotel to hang out around the pool with friends and family, drinking pina coladas for the rest of eternity. It’s a pleasant thought they will be happy, without pain, in the prime of their lives and best of all, we’ll get to  see them again when we die. It’s even nice to think we’ll get a reward from the Big Guy for living a good life. But it is real? Where does this place exist?

When I watch the Science Channel (most every night), I see images of asteroids, comets, neutron stars, pulsars, gas planets, darkness and cold. Surely, these violent elements of “creation” don’t offer a good place for a human to hang out for eternity; in fact, space sounds more like hell than heaven, doesn’t it?

So, if there isn’t a tangible heaven, how do you explain “near death” experiences when people are drawn down a long tunnel to a bright light? Isn’t that evidence there is life after death? Again, scientists are naysayers. Evidently, as the brain shuts down, it’s the peripheral vision that goes first, giving the impression of a tunnel. The center of your vision is what remains, giving the impression of a bright light. Bummer. There goes that “proof” of an after-life journey.

So what is the secret? What should we believe? Is heaven just a childhood dream? There is a good chance that the scientists may be right. But what if they are not? No one will ever know for sure—until–you got it–until we die.

So, what do we do? Is there no hope of a happy ending?

I think the answer is right in front of our nose. Instead of hoping there is a heaven where all our earthly lacking is fulfilled, we should live a full life while we’ve got it. While we have time, always do the best you can. Be curious.  Find that “inner child” and marvel at the world around you. Enjoy life. Have parties with friends. Celebrate milestones. Hell, Heck celebrate the littlest occasions. . . like it’s Tuesday! Make the most of the time you have.  Be kind and generous. Love everything with all your heart and soul. Be thankful. And most of all, embrace each other in love.

And if it turns out there is a celestial after party—we’ll all shout, “ Hallelujah!”