So last night Peter and I went for coffee and he was talking about how when he was little he used to try to picture what it was like if God didn’t create the earth. He said he used to picture himself floating in outer space and there were no stars, no planets, nothing, just complete black. He said it used to upset him quite a bit to think about that.
I said I used to think about that same kind of thing when I was little too, only it was me picturing what it would be like when I died. I said I would picture myself floating aimlessly through outerspace but it was completely black and I couldn’t even comprehend how black it was and then I would realize that there would actually be nothing, I wouldn’t even see the black because I would be dead and I wouldn’t exist.
That’s pretty troublesome for a little tiny kid. I didn’t know anything about God back then, and I think it’s pretty clear that I didn’t have a concept of heaven.
Now that I know God a little bit, it totally makes sense that just our bodies die, not our souls. As a little girl, I just couldn’t understand that I wouldn’t be able to see the blackness. I would try to wrap my head around it, the fact that I would be completely non-existent, no thoughts or feelings, just a skeleton in the ground with snakes going through my eye-sockets (seriously I used to picture that too). I think the reason it was so hard was becuase it just didn’t make sense. How could I not see the darkness? How could I just not exist anymore when here I am thinking and feeling and experiencing? That little girl was on to something. She just didn’t have fancy words.
It makes so much sense to me now that we are spirits in these bodies, and eventually my body will slow down, and I won’t be able to walk very fast and then I won’t be able to use this vehicle very well. Young kids will think I’m stupid. But I’ll still be the same person inside, with the same soul, and once that body dies, my soul will go on to what’s next. I’m not even going to pretend that I know anything about heaven or hell or what happens in the next life, but God has made some pretty good promises that it’s going to be some kind of wonderful.
Now that I know that… does it change the way I live? Does it change how I feel about the world? Well, somewhat. But I don’t wake up every morning pumped about someday being able to be with God in Heaven. I mean, that sounds pretty great, but what really changes the way I live isn’t God’s promise of heaven… it’s God.
God is teaching me in this life about loving others. Through His character and His prime example I have been shown a way that I cannot ignore. Just like it makes sense to me that our souls don’t die, it makes so much sense that we love each other. Jesus goes so much deeper than just doing kind little deeds for people, you know the ones that make you feel kinda fuzzy. I mean those are good and everything, but he went so much deeper and is showing me the way too. It rings so true, I can’t deny it, even if there is no afterlife (which, God says there is).
I have a quote written down somewhere, and someone pretty smart said it, but I can’t remember where my book of quotes is, so you’re just going to have to hear my re-phrasing… this guy, well, people thought he was pretty foolish for believing in something that “wasn’t true”. And he basically said that even if what those people were saying was true and God didn’t really exist, he’d still rather be considered an idiot and be with Christ than to live apart from Him.
I had had those exact feelings before so when I read that in whatever book I read it from, you can just about imagine the “Hmmm”ing, eye-widening, and head nodding that was going on in agreeance.