“What if you had to fill out an application to get into
heaven and on that application you had to answer the question: How did you live?”
Bear with me, here….
Do you realize at one time or another we are all seeking
meaningful connections with other human beings, pursuing personal goals or trying
to fulfill our hearts desires? Truth be
told, most of us live our lives on fast forward not knowing where we are going
or how we are going to get there, until something or someone slows us down long
enough for us to evaluate these two aspects of our lives, direction &
means. By then it is often too late to
go back and change the decisions made on the fly, so to speak. All of this
reminds me of my life before Christ.
With Christ in our lives we are more able to recognize the
importance of making decisions that affect our own life as well as the world
around us. Christ gives us a compass to sort
through all the emotion and reality of living our daily lives. I believe He also helps us to understand how the
daily mundane living along with the disappointments, the celebrations and the
victories of life all fit together. In
the course of understanding we learn to reconcile all the good and the bad of
our days. So the question above involves
not only how we live our lives but to what end? Put plainly, are we spinning our
wheels or really living?
In the movie Braveheart, there is a scene where William
Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, is imprisoned. Awaiting his “death” by purification, torture,
the Princess of Wales comes to visit him.
She begs him to ask for mercy and then proceeds to try and coax him to
take a vile of liquid to “dull” his pain. She naively believes that if he would
ask for mercy the king would spare his life and banish him to the tower where
he, at least, could live. His response
to her tearful plea, “Every man dies but not every man really lives?” That statement always strikes me as poignant
because of the circumstances he was facing. From that one line we comprehend that he would
rather die a terrible death, knowing his life had purpose and meaning for the
sake of freedom for others, than to bow down to a tyrant king to become his
prisoner for even one day. So what does
it mean, exactly, to really live?
After some consideration, I have come to the conclusion that
as a born again believer in Christ, really living would be living my life with
purpose and freedom from sin. I do this
by not only trusting in Christ as my personal Lord and Savior but also trusting
that the sum total of my ‘mundane days’, the victories of my life and my
disappointments are allowed and used by God for His glory. In order to believe the latter statement I must
completely trust God for every detail of my life. The next question then is how we trust an all
sovereign God with all of the details of our lives whilst knowing He is not
only watching out for each one of us individually but He watches all the
details of every person He has created at the same time.
Did you ever wonder how God keeps tabs on everything under
the sun? His eye is on the sparrow,
indicating that all of creation is under His ever watchful eye and care. I was listening to my local Christian radio
station on the way to work this morning and they were talking about how God
cares for each and everyone of us in a very personal way. My original thought posed as a question came
by way of a personal prayer request that I have been praying the last few
months. It is a personal prayer that I am desperate for an answer, one way or the other.
The thought came to me because I already knew in my heart
that God has heard my request but I do not know how He will answer it. It occurred to me that there was a time in my
life when I would pray and struggle with the question “Is God hearing me?” I would get it in my mind that in order to
exact a response from the Father I would have to take action. I would set about doing anything that would
seek to get His attention. Read more
scriptures, pray at a certain time during the day, give up something and maybe
do a good deed in the name of Christ. Basically
I was spinning wheels.
I finally realized after growing and maturing as a Christian
that God always hears my prayers but the answer may be hindered for a myriad of
reasons, i.e., sin in my life, God working out the details of the request or
maybe even waiting for just the right time, His time. How peaceful it is to know that I can pray at
any time day or night and without question know that my Heavenly Father is
hearing it before it leaves my lips.
Chances are He heard it before I knew to pray it.
Today you can turn on the television, internet or radio and
hear the daily statistics of job loss and looming economic disaster. It is very disheartening, especially when my
own family and friends are affected by the ever growing numbers. I thank God everyday for the job I have but I
also know that nothing, absolutely nothing, is for certain. Which brings me back
to the original question, What if I had to fill out an application to get into
heaven and I had to answer the question:
How did I live?” How would I prepare for the interview? Would I have to list my skills? Would I need to give references? Can you even fathom what you would need to
include in your resume?
To most Christians this thought is utterly absurd. We know that there is absolutely nothing that
we can do to earn our way, to beg our way or impress our way into heaven. Bottom line, it is not about anything we can
do but all about what He has already done for us. He has a list of our skills, the gifts He
bestows on each and every one of His children, none of which can be used to
earn our way to heaven. He already
has our references, as a matter of fact, there is only one name. Jesus Christ.
Without His reference you do not get into the Kingdom. He has already written our resume with Christ
blood. And last but not least the only
question He will ask is whether our name is written in the book of life. And we do not even have to answer, Christ
will answer for us.
So what does spinning our wheels or really living has to do
with the question I pose at the beginning?
One of the most important questions you should be able to answer is
where will you spend eternity? Where
will you go if you were to die today?
Because you know we all go somewhere!
We will either go to heaven where will live with God for eternity or we
will be eternally separated from God in a place, God calls hell or Hades.
The second most important question you should be able to
answer is how will you live what’s left of your life on earth? Will you live it selfishly looking out for
yourself, living in bondage under the tyrant king of sin, in essence spinning
your wheels? Or will you live in freedom
from sin with purpose and meaning for the greater good of others? Will you really live?
May God give you the ability, wisdom and courage to really live!
With much grace