Tonight I was sitting in my living room, reading a book that I am reviewing, and I had this sudden feeling of, “Is this all that there is?” I remember when I was a kid, sitting in my room, dreaming about what my life would look like when I was old. I went through a lot of possibilities: being a teacher, a doctor, a missionary…just to name a few. I always had a nice place of my own, and I was always happy.
I wasn’t fighting with my family over ideology. I have parents who hate Ronald Reagan; I have an aunt that wants us to be a socialist nation at best, communist at worst; my sister may or may not have a job next week, depending on whether or not Comcast decides to cut her loose in the next round of layoffs; my meager 401K has been all but depleted. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
You see, I find myself very fortunate. All of these things are temporal. I don’t find my identity in politics. I don’t find my security in my earnings or my job. I find my identity in Christ. Psalm 121:1-3 says, ” 1 I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? / 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. /3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber.”
I’ve had this spirited conversation going on for a while…with a good friend behind the scenes and new friends within this post. These guys have made some great points and have asked me questions that have made me stop and rethink quite a bit that I’ve taken for granted. They’ve also done something that I don’t think that they’ve expected, and it’s certainly something that I’ve not expected. They’ve helped to solidify my faith that Jesus Christ is who he says he is. The more questions that they ask, the more answers I’ve been seeking. The picture at the top of this post is the stack of books I’m attempting to tackle because of the questions.
I can find rest in these uncertain times because I don’t believe that this is all there is. I’m not a follower of Christ because it allows me to go to heaven. I am a follower of Christ because the Christian gospel is a gospel of peace, forgiveness, charity, compassion. The gospel–the whole story of Jesus–is about giving of yourself to others.
If I’m wrong, I’ve lost nothing. I’ve lived my life with more peace than I would’ve without my faith. Hopefully I’ve made a few people’s lives better. I die. My corpse decomposes. End of story.
If I’m right, I get to spend eternity asking Jesus all of the questions that have been running around in my mind. I get to ask Peter what went through his mind at the fire with Jesus. I get to ask Paul what it was like on the road to Damascus. I get to ask Abraham how he could be willing to sacrifice his son, the son of promise, and how relieved he was when the angel appeared and pointed out the ram. I get to see Jesus, face to face, and well, I don’t know where I’d begin with him. I get to spend eternity doing what I love to do more than anything now.
Basically, I’ve got nothing to lose because of what I believe.