One of the most difficult things about believing solidly in something is understanding that there are opposites. There is a scripture that basically says the path to heaven is narrow and difficult to find. The opposite is also stated: the path to hell is wide and easy to locate for all who choose it. As a follower of Christ, I get that; it’s tough to be on the narrow path because there are often folks around trying to suggest that, say, doing drugs, driving recklessly, overdoing it with alcoholic beverages, engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, gambling away the mortgage payment, or any number of other vices could be a path that may lead to enlightenment more quickly and in a way that is more fun than taking on the “burden” that Christ offers. And let’s not even mention the fact that many of us try to keep one foot on the narrow path while reaching for some of the stuff along the wide one.
I wrote a post earlier this week in honor of my most wonderful friend, Don Buchanan, whose soul moved on five years ago. I found out the year after and spent about two weeks in a place so dark it cannot be named, then another few weeks in a gray place, and finally came out in the open, heartbroken and scarred. I was filled with “what if” questions, as if I had any ability whatsoever to alter the path of life for myself or anyone else, particularly if it meant traveling to the past to do it. However, I was comforted by my belief in the hereafter.
One of my favorite statements is that we will be surprised to see who is in heaven because in the end, God is the only one handing out the golden tickets. Nothing you say about me or nothing I say about you will have any impact on whether I get in or not, or whether you get in or not. In fact,
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye (Matthew 7:1-5, NLT).
So if it is that I happened to have spent some time in my life doing things that wouldn’t be featured at the rest stops along the narrow road, I am not forever a cursed and retched thing, destined to burn forever, looking with envy into the pearly abyss, wishing I had made different choices because you said so. Or vice versa.
We can only make guesses at the relationship between God and someone else; even if they appear to have both feet on the narrow path at all times, we could be looking at an illusion. Even if they appear to be dancing a jig across all lanes of the wide path, it could also be an illusion. It is for that reason that I continue to ask to see my most wonderful friend again when my soul moves on to the hereafter.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. (Matthew 7:7, NLT).
Yes, that verse goes on to suggest that when we seek Christ we will find acceptance; the verse is used in many Christian traditions as part of the confession of faith. However, I believe in the deepest parts of me that my Lord will allow me to find my answer because I continue to petition and seek it. And this is a different sort of asking and seeking than, oh, I don’t know…begging to win the lottery. I am asking for an opportunity to be with a loved one again and while I know that not all requests will be granted on the Final Day, my relationship with my Lord assures me that I will not be disappointed. Jesus wants none to perish. He wants us to be redeemed back to God and for this reason He allowed His soul to be moved on in such a powerful way. I was so encouraged by this reminder that Jesus came to be the New Adam, that He died for my redemption, for Don’s redemption, for my first husband’s redemption, for my dad’s redemption, and for the redemption of all. And it is because of that reminder that I can smile when I think of Don now. I know he’s waiting and smiling too. I just know it.
Today’s Daily Post asked us to
Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.
The linked sentence in my offering above will take you to the blog that showed up in third position for me…