Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Are we yet alive?

Someone told me once that God created high school football so there would be a halftime for the band to play.

I think this person happened to have at least one child in the band. I recall clearly that this particular high school didn’t have very high expectations of their football team. But the band was awesome!

One might reasonably argue that high school bands deserve more attention and support than they receive. One could certainly make the case that fine arts warrant a larger piece of the financial pie. To claim that football was created to showcase a band, however, is wrangled reasoning and loose logic.

Sometimes Christians have used the same kind of argument, however, in favor of heaven. Too often Christians have presented the perspective that this life is merely preparation for an eternity in either heaven or hell.

I was confronted in an interview for ordination over this very matter. In answering the question, “How do you understand eternal life?” I failed to mention whether or not I believed in life after death.

Of course I do believe in life after death. Why, then, had I answered as I had? Because I had long since refused to sell the Kingdom of God as something available only after death!

The Jesus I was reading about in the scriptures was the One in whom all God’s promise and future for humanity resided. This Jesus spoke relatively rarely about life after death. This Jesus, so far as I can tell, never once issued an altar call holding the fear of eternity in hell over his hearer’s heads.

This Jesus I read of (and was in fact getting to know) taught of the kind of life all could have in the here and now. He talked of, and lived, a life lived in the presence of God. He even had the audacity to claim that “I have come that you might have life, and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)

When Jesus made this promise, he did not mention life after death. He didn’t, and I don’t, because Jesus came to offer us a different and better quality of life here and now; not just after we die!

I lived for years without knowing this kind of life. Like most people, I had good days and bad days, but the assumption was always that something was about to go wrong, or the other shoe was about to drop. The river running in the depth of my soul was the river of sorrows. This river bubbled up to remind me that “Life is just one dang thing after another.”

It just grieves my soul that so many people still live there because God wants so much more for us! Jesus said that he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Do you want abundantly more of the life you have right now?

I understand my mission and purpose in ministry to be to live the abundant life as much as possible, and to bring others with me! It doesn’t mean everything will suddenly go your way, but it does provide the peace and hope you may need to get beyond feeling like “Life is just one dang thing after another.”

Find the life that God wants you to live. God wants you to have the joy that comes from knowing Him now; not for us to muddle through this life until we can get to the next. He created us for this life, and created this life to be lived; not merely as a precursor for another.


At 4:00 PM, Anonymous John B said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Steve Heyduck said...

Agreed, John, and I appreciate your comments.

I don't want to take anything away from the life after death quality of eternal life. I have found, though, many Christians have only, that hope.


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