I hope I don’t sound too insensitive with this post… but to help contextualize my insensitivity – I must inform you that I have had at least 10 kids from my high school get killed or die either while I was attending or after. I don’t know what it is, but I have kind of got partially desensitized from the shock of having somebody I know -who is my age- die. From vehicle accidents to having a kid drop dead in the middle of marching band… I have experienced a lot of death situations with students.
It has been a blessing that I have been taught the hard way that I am not promised tomorrow. So often I get caught up in the “today” – I loose sight of the big picture.
James 4:14 has really been helping me contextualize life. It is so true!
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes!”
The message rings true to our inner wants to have our moment shining in the sun when it interprets part of the verse
“You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing”
I think we have lost sight of death in simple phrases – cliches – and religion.
We relish in the thoughts of good people in heaven. We honor peoples quest for enlightenment. We reflect on the person’s acts of kindness and positive qualities.
This at the same time when we take such joy in our daily life. Our focus is on our popularity among friends. In the college world we so often get caught up in meaningless academic discourse. We love our hypothesis and evaluations. We fit in sharing certain philosophies and view points.
There is nothing wrong with any of this. Yet, if you step back and just take in the big picture… its just meaningless.
I don’t mean to be so harsh – but tonight I’m looking at the myspace page of somebody who can’t update it anymore. This guy had it all… he loved motorcycles, he was the class clown, he pithily had selected hindu as religion, he had tons of friends, he didn’t smoke…
Yet I look at that and feel empty. Everything is meaningless…
One thing people keep talking about whenever somebody gets killed… Religion.
We begin talking about the after life all of a sudden. We take comfort in the fact that there has to be something after death. Death can’t be the end. Even by dropping an R.I.P. we acknowledge there has to be some sort of peace or rest after death.
Yet I look at this and feel empty. Everything is meaningless…
Religion IS meaningless… it is where everybody searches to find their meaning. We try so hard to find our enlightenment. We work and read the rules to becoming a better person. We follow the steps. We are good people. We attend the meetings. We join our clubs. We memorize our mantras and quote our phrases… We associate with churches or organizations. We pay our dues… We are eternally set.
Yet I look at this and feel empty. Religion is meaningless…
My heart is broken and I have finally realized something…
I suck. I am not good enough. I do not deserve any sort of peace after death. I can not do enough to ever become enlightened. I can not be good enough to make the judgement scales tip in my direction. I have not followed enough of the rules for me to get into heaven. God is not going to look at my life and see all the good stuff I have done and let me into heaven with the angels.
All I deserve is for death to be the end. I am messed up and I deserve punishment for all of the stuff I have done. I have not met the standard of perfection. I deserve eternal separation from God. I deserve to not go to heaven.
Fortunately, about two years ago I learned all this. I found out that I need to be rescued. I found out that I needed somebody to save me. The only person that could rescue me was God himself.
I found God… not in religion or in church membership – but I found God because he found me.
God actually found me by sending me his son as a savior. He didn’t do this so I could join a religion. God looks at religion as something that is meaningless – good works are nothing more then dirty rags. However – God wanted to know me personally. He didn’t want me to only have knowledge about him – he wanted to actually know me and have a relationship with me.
This relationship with God is not like our relationships and friendships we have now. Our relationship goes beyond memorial wall post on our myspaces. God is eternal – and our relationship last forever. God is the antonym of death. He is life. In our relationship with him we gain life on God’s terms. God’s terms are forever.
I just hope that we can all begin by stopping. We must start realizing that life now is only momentary. Sickness is momentary. Abuse is momentary. Hate is momentary. Existence is momentary.
We have got to start looking at life with a larger perspective. We can’t get caught up in this brief time. We need to look at the bigger picture. There is so much more to see.